CATALIS in Support of the Quebec Government’s Policy on Rare Diseases


On June 6, the Quebec government unveiled its Politique québécoise pour les maladies rares (Quebec policy on rare diseases – in French only). In Quebec, 700,000 people with rare diseases, half of whom are children, face significant challenges such as errors in diagnosing their disease and the absence of effective treatments. Through its new ministerial policy, Quebec is ahead of the other Canadian provinces by focusing on three areas of action to improve the quality of life of people with rare diseases: increasing awareness and training of health professionals; fair and easier access to a diagnosis, care, and services; and promoting research, innovation, and data collection.

It is within this context that CATALIS, funded by the Quebec Life Sciences Strategy, is proud to work with the Quebec government to fulfill its mission of supporting patients with rare diseases. Thanks to its FAST TRACK Evaluation Service and its Personalized Clinical Trial Support Service for patients and healthcare professionals, CATALIS is helping the government to meet the targets for accelerating the launch and facilitating the conduct of clinical research in Quebec, including finding treatments for rare diseases.

Pierre Fitzgibbon


“It is thanks to the collaboration of our researchers that our life sciences sector is performing well and achieving scientific breakthroughs that are transforming the lives of the Quebec population. CATALIS is one of the organizations that have made this success possible by making clinical research in Quebec more effective.” – Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region



It is within the framework of this assistance to the government that CATALIS is delighted to announce that 3 new studies on rare diseases by Novartis Canada have once again been authorized in record time, including a study on Zolgensma for the treatment of children aged 2 to 12 with spinal muscular atrophy.

A year ago, Novartis Canada was the first partner to pilot our FAST TRACK Evaluation Service; the pharmaceutical company currently has 6 accelerated clinical trials in this CATALIS service.

Pierre Fitzgibbon


I’m very impressed with Quebec’s determination to drive change and accelerate clinical research for those living with rare diseases. The Quebec policy on rare diseases reinforces the importance of speed and effectiveness of clinical trials to address the urgent need for patients to have access to potentially lifesaving treatments. Our collective efforts must strive to include access to these innovative treatments at time of Health Canada approval. I’m thrilled to continue working with CATALIS to focus our efforts on breaking barriers to advance research that can positively impact the lives of patients and their families. – Andrea Marazzi, Novartis Canada Country President


Gail Ouellette

“The Regroupement québécois des maladies orphelines (Quebec coalition of orphan diseases) is impressed by CATALIS’ FAST TRACK Evaluation Services’ achievements, which have led to the activation, in record time, of three studies on rare diseases such as active Sjögren syndrome. necrotizing enterocolitis. and spinal muscular atrophy. Ultimately, these studies could allow Quebec researchers and patients to contribute to the development of potential new treatments to improve the quality of life of those with these rare diseases. The RQMO hopes that the CATALIS FAST TRACK Evaluation Service will lead to more clinical research on many other rare diseases in Quebec.”- Gail Ouellette, president and scientific director of the Regroupement québécois des maladies orphelines


 Learn more about Novartis’ new studies which were approved in record time:


Our Personalized Clinical Trial Support Service in line with the Quebec Policy on Rare Diseases: