The CATALIS initiative celebrates new partners

Private and public funding provide essential support and highlight Quebec’s role
in the field of early stage clinical trials

BOSTON, June 5th, 2018 –  A year following its launch at the BIO conference in 2017, the CATALIS initiative is today proud to announce the arrival of new partners, both financial and medical, which will further help support Quebec’s role as a world leader in the field of early stage clinical research.

Since the expansion of the initiative in the province is a strategic step in the process of setting up clusters of excellence in Quebec’s early stage clinical research, CATALIS is pleased to welcome two new institutions within its network: the Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) de Québec-Université Laval and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS). These institutions, as well as the three others already present in the network (the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Montréal (CHUM), the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)) share the common goal of doubling their activities in early stage clinical trials by 2022.

“The participation of these partners in the CATALIS initiative is excellent news for the development of early stage clinical research in Quebec since we need the contribution of a maximum of community stakeholders for this purpose. The pooling of their various infrastructures and expertise will greatly contribute to positioning Quebec on the world stage of early stage clinical research”, said Minister of Health and Social Services, Gaétan Barrette.

“Thanks to our diversified population and our state-of-the-art facilities, the CHU de Québec-Université Laval is a privileged place for conducting early stage clinical trials in Quebec. CATALIS will be an important partner in valuing our innovations, our new technologies, as well as in promoting investments and maximizing benefits for the life science stakeholders”, said Dr. Serge Rivest, Director of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Centre.

“The CHUS Research Centre is proud of its role as a catalyst and convener in early stage trials in radiochemistry and medical imaging in Quebec. For us, CATALIS represents a golden opportunity to boost research and support collaborations with the Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke in connection with the development of molecules with therapeutic potential”, said Dr. William D. Fraser, Scientific Director at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke.

At the same time, CATALIS announces a new financial partnership, this time with Takeda Canada, which has decided to recognize the essential role played by CATALIS and financially support its objectives. This partnership will support the development and implementation of a performance framework allowing the competitiveness of Quebec health institutions in early stage clinical research.

“At Takeda, supporting excellence in clinical research is paramount in our pursuit of therapeutic solutions for patients. We hope that this financial support to CATALIS will contribute to the spread of early clinical trials and strengthen Quebec’s position as a leader in medical research worldwide” said Gamze Yuceland, President of Takeda Canada.

In addition, two other partners, Abbvie and Servier, renewed their financial commitments for a second consecutive year, consolidating CATALIS’ partnerships with six leading pharmaceutical companies – GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Takeda, Abbvie, Merck and Servier.

“The commitment of our hospital and financial partners is essential to ensure the implementation of the best global practices in Quebec’s early stage clinical trials. After just one year of activity, I am very pleased to see the progress made, and I am even more confident in the pursuit and realization of our medium and long-term goals”, concluded Danika Laberge, General Manager of CATALIS.

About the CATALIS initiative

The CATALIS initiative is the materialization of the Early Stage Clinical Trials (ESCT) initiative, a vast project initiated by Montréal InVivo, the CQDM and the three founding health centres (le Centre hospitalier universitaire de Montréal, le Centre universitaire de santé McGill et le Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine) to position Quebec on the world stage of early stage clinical trials.

To achieve its objectives of doubling private investments in Quebec’s early stage clinical trials by 2022, CATALIS partners have developed a 5-year action plan aimed essentially at optimizing the operational processes of clinical research healthcare institutions, and to promote their expertise at the international level.

The CATALIS initiative brings together all stakeholders involved in early clinical research in Quebec, including Quebec health institutions, pharmaceutical industry, contract research organizations, economic development organizations, other initiatives dedicated to improving the clinical research environment, as well as CATALIS Quebec, a non-profit organization which acts as the coordinating office for the initiative. More specifically, CATALIS Quebec’s main mandate is to mobilize clinical research stakeholders in Quebec, coordinate the initiative’s joint projects and promote Quebec’s expertise in early stage clinical research. CATALIS Quebec was created and is hosted by CQDM.

CATALIS is financially supported by the Government of Quebec through the “Stratégie québécoise des sciences de la vie 2017-2027”, as well as by the following organizations: GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Takeda, Abbvie, Merck, Servier, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, and Innovative Medicines Canada.

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For more information on this vast project, visit

Danika Laberge, General Manager CATALIS Québec