Look who's investing in Québec
A bi-monthly snapshot of investment activity in Québec
Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund Launched
Merck just announced the launch of the Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund. The fund will provide investment capital to support Québec biotechnology companies that do research here at the early stages of drug development and to attract other life science entrepreneurs in Québec.
Merck will invest $35 million in the fund, which is targeting $50 million by final closing. The fund was set up through a Merck subsidiary together with Lumira Capital, Teralys Capital and other partners.
The launch of the fund marks Merck's latest contribution to its commitment announced in 2010 to invest $100 million over five years in biopharmaceutical research and development in Québec.
Roche Partners with the Montréal Heart Institute
The Swiss group Roche has made the Montréal Heart Institute (MHI) its global research centre on cardiometabolic diseases. This partnership confirms the MHI's position as a leader in cardiovascular health. The MHI has had a centre devoted to the coordination of clinical trials for about a decade now. Through this centre, the MHI acts in part as a subcontractor for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Roche, which has been dealing with the MHI for the past five years, has already assigned three large-scale clinical studies to the Institute. In addition to awarding it new clinical studies, Roche intends to finance the development of molecular tools that will improve diagnostic accuracy for patients at high risk of contracting cardiovascular disease.
Medtronic Pursues Growth in Montréal
Medtronic CryoCath announced that it will open a new research and training centre on cryoablation and increase the production capacity of its two facilities in Pointe-Claire, near Montréal, in order to serve world markets. The company will receive a financial contribution from Investissement Québec that could be as much as $15 million. Upon completion, this expansion project will represent a total investment of $50 million for the company.
A leader in the design and manufacture of catheters for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, Medtronic CryoCath is a subsidiary of the U.S. company Medtronic, Inc. “With sales that have doubled annually since 2009, Medtronic CryoCath is one of Medtronic's strongest growth divisions,” declared Neil Fraser, Medtronic of Canada President. “This division is the only site in the world that manufactures the innovative Arctic Front CryoAblation system, which was designed and developed in Québec. We've decided to maintain our operations in Québec, and we'll be interested to see how medical technology strategy evolves in the province.”
Pharmaceutical Company Valeant Moves Global Headquarters to Laval
Multinational corporation Valeant Pharmaceuticals International announced that it will move its headquarters from Mississauga, Ontario, to Laval. This $20-million project also involves expanding and modernizing the plant belonging to its subsidiary, Laboratoire Dr. Renaud, and setting up an international centre of excellence in cosmeceuticals and dermatology.
The corporation will receive a $6-million financial contribution from Investissement Québec, which includes a $2.5-million interest-free loan. The project will generate 50 new jobs and secure 300 existing jobs in Laval. According to J. Michael Pearson, President and CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the decision to move the company's headquarters to Québec would not have been possible without the Québec government's support: “We're very pleased about this strategic partnership with the Québec government. Its financial support was a key factor in Valeant's decision to set up its international headquarters in Québec. This project will support our growth strategy and strengthen our position as a leading pharmaceutical company in dermatological products.”