Novartis and Roche Join the CATALIS Initiative

Industry partnership will help establish Quebec as a global leader in early stage clinical research

MONTREAL, February 6, 2019— The CATALIS initiative is proud to announce that pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Roche have joined its partner network. A mere two years after its creation, CATALIS Québec has succeeded in mobilizing Quebec’s key players in clinical research to an unprecedented degree. To date, it has brought together 13 organizations in an innovative public-private partnership aimed at cementing Quebec’s leadership in conducting early stage clinical trials.

CATALIS Québec is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together all of Quebec’s life science stakeholders to maximize private investments in early stage clinical research and generate positive human, economic and social benefits.

“We’re very happy to welcome Novartis and Roche into our network, which unites Quebec’s university hospital centres (CHUs), globally renowned pharmaceutical companies and other key life science organizations. The collaborative dynamic established among our partners has proved highly effective, and I am confident that together we can create a strong positioning for Quebec in phase I and II clinical trials,” said Danika Laberge, CATALIS Québec General Manager.

“Novartis is very pleased to partner with CATALIS in its mission to make Quebec a leader for early stage clinical research,” said Dawn Bell, Chief Scientific Officer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. “By bringing together key stakeholders, CATALIS has created significant momentum in building solutions to streamline and standardize the execution of clinical trials. Novartis and CATALIS share a joint objective to attract more clinical research to Quebec for the benefit of patients in need of innovative treatment options.”

“As a research-driven organization, Roche is proud to partner with CATALIS,” said Christina Archer, Country Head, Country Clinical Operations at Hoffmann-La Roche Limited (Roche Canada). “Representing one quarter of our country’s population, Quebec plays an important role in scientific research and has the potential to play an even bigger role on the world stage. By networking the province’s existing world-class academic institutions and research hospitals, CATALIS has the opportunity to establish Quebec as a hub for clinical research, which will ultimately drive access to innovative therapies that may potentially improve patient outcomes.”

“CATALIS’s expansion is a fundamental step in establishing hubs of excellence in early stage clinical research in Quebec. This will make the province a world leader in conducting early stage clinical trials,” asserts Diane Gosselin, CATALIS Québec President.

Partners in development

This public-private project—initiated by Montréal InVivo and its members and then launched by CQDM (the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery)—came to life in 2017 with an investment from the Quebec government under its “2017‒2027 Quebec Life Sciences Strategy.” The initiative’s member hospitals include the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, the Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) de Québec‒Université Laval and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS). The initiative’s private partners are: GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Takeda, Abbvie, Merck, Servier, Novartis and Roche.

About CATALIS Québec

CATALIS’s aim is to position Quebec as a world leader in early stage clinical research. Launched in 2017 with the financial support of the Quebec government and the joint efforts of a number of public and private partners, the initiative’s coordination office coordinates common projects and promotes Quebec’s expertise in early stage clinical trials. To find out more, visit