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OCE and OBI Partner With CQDM on $3 Million Inter-Provincial Drug Discovery Innovation Programs

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/25/14 -- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) are partnering with CQDM to bring an additional $3 million to two programs dedicated to breakthrough technologies to accelerate drug discovery and development.

With an investment of $500,000, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is joining CQDM in launching the 2014 edition of CQDM's Explore Program to fund the Ontario arm. This unique initiative fosters highly innovative and unconventional game-changing biopharmaceutical research. This is the first time this program will be open to researchers in Ontario as well as in Quebec, thanks to the partnership with OCE.

With a commitment of up to $2.5 million, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) embarks with CQDM and Brain Canada on the new national initiative in neuroscience "Focus on Brain". OBI's contribution thus brings to $12.5 million the total funding available to researchers in academia as well as SMEs across Canada, for the development of breakthrough technologies to accelerate the discovery of new, safe and effective drugs for disorders of the brain and nervous system. OBI's funding will be dedicated to Ontario-based entities. Combining resources and strengths in neuroscience across Canada, this new partnership will build on complementary expertise, foster innovative industry-academic collaborations, increase Canada's competitiveness in the field and allow our researchers to better engage in international networks dedicated to bringing better cures to patients and their families.

The partnerships were announced today at the 2014 Bio International Convention in San Diego by Jacques Daoust, Quebec's Minister of Economy, Innovation and Exports (MEIE) and senior officials from CQDM, OCE and OBI.

"Our new partnership is the continuation of the work we have been doing with CQDM in the Ontario-Quebec Life Sciences Corridor," said Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. "We are delighted to extend our collaboration to CQDM's unique Explore Program, opening it to Ontario-based researchers and SMEs. With CQDM and its partners, we are making it possible to bridge the gap and fund innovative research projects which can potentially be game changers in drug discovery and development."

"We are glad to join CQDM and Brain Canada in the 'Focus on Brain' program which is a major initiative to support innovative translational research with tangible results on the drug discovery process to prevent, treat or cure neurological or mental health disorders", said Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI.

"We are very happy to deepen our collaborations with OCE and OBI in such unique initiatives and bring a true contribution in filling the gaps in innovation in Quebec, Ontario as well as Canada. We are glad to tap into Ontario's excellence in research and further develop synergies between Quebec and Ontario. Today's announcement illustrates the value-added of CQDM's unique business model to support truly innovative translational research", said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.

"I am pleased that Ontario organizations like OCE and OBI are working with colleagues in Quebec on such important programs. These are the kinds of strategic partnerships we envisioned when we created the Ontario-Quebec Life Sciences corridor. Developing innovative new technologies in this field will result in positive economic outcomes for both provinces", said Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

"Our government is delighted to note that our support for CQDM continues to bear fruit. The investments will bolster the design of tools geared to the development of promising new drugs in addition to consolidating Quebec's position in this field of the future", said Jacques Daoust, Quebec Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports.

About CQDM

CQDM is a pharma-based consortium active in pre-competitive research whose mission is to fund the development of innovative tools and technologies to accelerate drug discovery and development. Unique in the world, CQDM's business model is based on a collaborative approach where all stakeholders share the costs of biopharmaceutical research and benefit from its results. CQDM also provides a common meeting ground where academia, governments, biotechs and the pharmaceutical industry converge to address numerous complex medical challenges. CQDM receives financial support from 8 of the largest pharmaceutical companies around the world (AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer Canada, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly Canada, Novartis Pharma Canada and Sanofi Canada), as well as from Quebec's Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Exportations (MEIE) and the Government of Canada under the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program (BL-NCE). www.cqdm.org

About Ontario Brain Institute (OBI)

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially-funded, not-for-profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain discovery, commercialization and care. Convergent partnerships are created between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. www.braininstitute.ca

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.onebusiness.ca

About Brain Canada

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. For more than one decade, Brain Canada has made the case for the brain as a single, complex system with commonalities across the range of neurological disorders, mental illnesses and addictions, brain and spinal cord injuries. Looking at the brain as one system has underscored the need for increased collaboration across disciplines and institutions, and a smarter way to invest in brain research that is focused on outcomes that will benefit patients and families.

Brain Canada's vision is to understand the brain, in health and illness, to improve lives and achieve societal impact. Brain Canada is achieving its vision by:

--  Increasing the scale and scope of funding to accelerate the pace of
    Canadian brain research;
--  Creating a collective commitment to brain research across the public,
    private and voluntary sectors;
--  Delivering transformative, original and outstanding research programs.

The Canada Brain Research Fund

The Canada Brain Research Fund is a public-private partnership designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. Brain Canada has committed to raising $100 million from private and non-governmental sources, which will be matched by government on a 1:1 basis. The Fund was announced in federal budget 2011, which proposed to "allocate up to $100 million to establish the Canada Brain Research Fund, which will support the very best Canadian neuroscience, fostering collaborative research and accelerating the pace of discovery, in order to improve the health and quality of life of Canadians who suffer from brain disorders." For more information, visit us at www.braincanada.ca.

Julie Martineau
Senior Director, Communications and Corporate Development
(514) 766-6661, ext. 2198
[email protected]

Garth Smith
Director, Industry Relations, OBI
647 872 1208
[email protected]

Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
[email protected]

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