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Quebec Ready to Plant Flag in Genomics Field

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After spending more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry — including the last 15 doing business development in Canada for GlaxoSmithKline — Paul L’Archevêque has the connections he’ll need in his new role as president and CEO of Génome Québec. A nonprofit organization, Génome Québec aims to promote the genomics industry in Quebec by building a genomics center in Montreal and financially supporting research at universities in the region.

L’Archevêque, 49, says his extensive work in pharma was “probably how I ended up becoming more knowledgeable about this initiative and getting more interested in it.” Originally a science student at the University of Montreal, he feels he fits into the genomics industry already.

Founded in late 2000, Génome Québec receives about half of its funding from Genome Canada, another nonprofit organization with which it works closely but is not affiliated, and also gets a significant amount from the Quebec government. L’Archevêque’s goal is to “ensure the sustainability of this initiative over the long run,” and he expects that a good chunk of future funding will come from private investors who are attracted by the particular genomics projects underway.

“We believe we have strong researchers,” he says. “We’re trying to create in our own environment here in Quebec a capability around genomics which is of international stature.”

— Meredith Salisbury