B2Discovery: Entrepreneurs and researchers join forces to conquer cancer
This press release is available in French.
Montreal, 7 June 2010 The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal launches B2Discovery, a new research funding model that brings together the private sector and the biomedical research community to help accelerate the discovery of new anti-cancer therapeutics. Inspired by B2ten, which contributed to the success of several Canadian athletes at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, B2Discovery's mission is to partner entrepreneurs with IRIC's cancer investigators to finance novel and promising research projects not currently funded by public granting agencies.
"The country's existing funding model meets only part of the needs of our researchers," explains Dr. Guy Sauvageau, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of IRIC. B2Discovery aims to fill the gap by involving the business community. We believe that business leaders can play a key role in facilitating the discovery of new anti-cancer drugs. In supporting IRIC's elite investigators, they will be closely involved in discoveries that will have an impact on the fight against cancer and on the health of patients."
B2Discovery will support research projects in the three following key areas: identifying the causes of cancer, improving diagnostics, and developing cancer prevention drugs and targeted therapies to cure the disease.
Modelled after B2ten, a private sector initiative led by business leaders to assist Canadian amateur athletes in achieving excellence at the Olympic Games, B2Discovery aims to help IRIC scientists reach their goal of conquering cancer by providing them with additional financial support.
B2Discovery's innovative approach has already caught the attention of entrepreneurs such as Pierre Pomerleau, Chair and CEO of Pomerleau.
"Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in the country. To conquer this devastating disease, we must be innovative. B2Discovery proposes a bold new partnership model between the best minds in both the business and research communities to accelerate our progress against the disease", said Pierre Pomerleau, one of the first donors to B2Discovery. "IRIC is ideally positioned to make significant headway in the quest for victory over cancer: its researchers are world-class, its scientific infrastructure is state-of-the-art, its campaign to eradicate cancer is strategic and unrelenting. I am proud to support IRIC through B2Discovery and I urge Quebec and Canadian business leaders to do the same."
B2ten athletes Jennifer Heil and Alexandre Bilodeau met with IRIC researchers today. "I'm very pleased to see that the model developed by B2ten can assist IRIC researchers. Athletes and researchers share many qualities: the pursuit of excellence, discipline, and perseverance. We also share the need for proper support to allow us to reach our goals", said Jennifer Heil, 2006 Olympic gold medalist and 2010 Olympic silver medalist. "Just as it did with B2ten, business support can make a real difference in fueling the cure for cancer".
"I believe that helping researchers obtain the tools they need to discover a cure for cancer is something all citizens have a stake in", concludes Alexandre Bilodeau, 2010 Olympic gold medalist.