Life Sciences
Innovation and the competitive edge

3D Illustration of Humain BrainQuébec’s life-sciences companies are never short on ideas when it comes to innovating. Whether their focus is pharmaceuticals, health biotechnology, contract research, manufacturing or medical technology, their dynamic approach and cutting-edge projects put them in a class of their own. That enormous innovative potential is a strong drawing card for international companies, many of which have chosen Québec as the site of their head offices. 

Public-private partnerships: The new business model in pharmaceuticals

Photo of a molecular structure

Open innovation and network R&D: that’s the new business model for pharmaceuticals today. Since this major shift began, many international pharmaceutical compa­nies have forged public-private partnerships with health research centres in Québec.


With support from the Québec government in the form of generous tax credits for public-private partnerships, they have also taken part in creating industry associations and consortiums to promote pre-competitive research.

Partnerships Stakeholders

PMPC Open a new window(Partnership for Personalized Medicine in Cancer)


Objective: Develop and validate biomarkers and encourage their use in medical practice

Caprion Proteomics, Oncozyme Pharma, Pfizer, Sanofi, Telus Health and the Québec government

A one-of-a-kind R&D centre


NEOMED and GSK joined forces to create a centre of excellence in vaccines and biological products in the greater Montréal area.


Objective: To create a unique platform of small and medium-sized businesses specialized in the vaccines and biological products field of expertise.


MEDTEQ Open a new window


Objective: To accelerate the development of innovative technological solutions to improve patients’ health and quality of life.
The Québec government, Québec’s five university hospital centres, Ubisoft, ORS, Emovi and TS03, global leaders like Medtronic, Roche Diagnostic and Siemens

CQDM Open a new window(Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery)


Objective: Stimulate pharmaceutical research and accelerate the discovery of new drugs
AstraZeneca, Pfizer Canada, Merck Canada, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi Canada and the Québec government


Photo of a scientist examining test tubesQuébec’s own biotech companies have been making their mark, forging large-scale strategic alliances and teaming up with world leaders on acquisition projects. Some examples are Alexion/Enobia, Bayer/EndoCeutics, GlaxoSmithKline/Angiochem and Mitsubishi/Medicago.


Contract research

Photo of two scientists conducting lab testsMany top companies have set up operations in greater Montréal—proof that the business climate here is highly attractive!


According to BIOQuébec, Québec is home to some 70 reputed contract research firms, which employ over 4,300 people and offer a full range of services at every stage of drug development. Cato Research Canada Open a new window, Charles River Open a new window, CiToxLAB Open a new window, Icon Open a new window, ITR Laboratories Canada Open a new window, Inventive Health clinical Open a new windowand Quintiles Open a new windoware a few examples.


CRCHUM phase I and II clinical research unit (CRU) (URCP1)


Photo of test tubesThis state-of-the-art university research unit is one of just a handful of such facilities in North America engaged primarily in investigating new therapies and determining in which patients they would be effective. The CRCHUM Open a new window(French website) is now able to conduct both phase I (healthy volunteers) and phase II (patient volunteers) clinical trials.


In November 2014, three university hospital research centres (CHUM, RI-MUHC and CHU Sainte-Justine) joined forces to make Montréal a global centre of expertise in early stage clinical trials. Projects undertaken under this initiative will optimize the effectiveness of R&D activities at these centres by providing quicker access to innovative treatments to twice as many patients.


Within the context of their respective clinical research activities, the centres, under this initiative, agree to collaborate by teaming up with private and public stakeholders involved in early stage clinical trials of new treatments.


Clinical studies: A unique infrastructure in Canada


The Centre for Innovative Medicine Open a new window (CIM), with its doors now open at the new Glen site, will be the largest dedicated academic clinical research centre in Canada. It will specialize in leading clinical trials to effectively transform discoveries into new treatments for patients and the community.


Alt: An image reading “Galderma, Valeant, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Sandoz, Medicago and Pharmascience”Québec boasts a wide range of biopharma­ceutical manufacturing activities! There are over 30 manufacturers here, producing a vast array of drugs in oral, injectable, ointment, cream, vial and liquid forms.


Global leaders operating in Québec include Galderma Open a new window, GlaxoSmithKline Open a new window, Medicago Open a new window, Merck Open a new window, Pharmascience Open a new window, Pfizer Open a new windowand Sandoz Open a new window.


Our specialty: A good job done fast!

The Québec drug manufacturing industry is renowned for its ability to produce small batches of drugs efficiently, to tight deadlines. This is a critical service, making it possible to meet unforeseeable momentary increases in demand.


And we don’t just do it fast, we do it well! Québec’s drug manufacturers meet the strictest quality standards, and our products are exported around the world. Québec is the ideal location for companies interested in serving both the American and European or Asian markets.

An image reading “150 companies, 6,400 employeesMedical techno­logies

Québec businesses are known for their innovative flair: a number of new medical technologies were conceived right here. There are more than 150 companies in the medical technology sector, generating over 6,300 jobs. Notable examples are
Analogic Open a new window, BD Diagnostics Open a new window, Medtronic Open a new window, Roche Diagnostics Open a new window, Tyco Healthcare Open a new windowand Zimmer Biomet Open a new window.


Company Technology


Healthcare Open a new window

Echocardiography simulators that provide a highly realistic training experience for students and surgeons.
Jubilant DraxImage Inc. Open a new window A wholly owned subsidiary of Jubilant Life Sciences, this nuclear medicine company develops, produces and markets radiopharmaceuticals used for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease. 
Emovi Open a new window KneeKG: A non-invasive 3D technology that makes
it possible to diagnose joints in motion. The application of this technology to the knee is the first of many potential uses. A world first!
Genia Photonics Open a new window A revolutionary laser-fibre technology with multifunctional capacities, allowing for rapid switching between the imaging and diagnostic or treatment modes.
Medtronic Open a new window A catheter used for cryoablation in the treatment of heart disease. 

Zimmer Biomet Open a new window(ORTHOsoft)


Software, instruments and computer systems designed to aid orthopedic surgeons (for joints and spine).

Why choose Québec?