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Merck Pledges C$2M to Canadian Personalized Cancer Therapy Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Merck announced that it has committed C$2 million (US $1.6 million) to Canadian non-profit Exactis Innovation to support its Personalize My Treatment (PMT) personalized cancer therapy initiative.

The Cancer Research Society and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation have also pledged C$1 million each to the PMT initiative, Merck said.

Established in 2014 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Exactis is as public/private alliance of biopharmaceutical firms and research organizations focused on advancing precision therapies for cancer. Among its key goals are the creation of a repository of cancer tissue samples, as well as databases of genomic and clinical data from patients.

"The Exactis vision is to build a Canadian Centre of Excellence in Cancer Precision Therapeutics," Exactis Scientific Director Gerald Batist said in a statement. "This project takes a giant step forward today with the partnership of New Brunswick's medical scientific community and with the participation of patients here."

Chirfi Guindo, president and managing director of Merck Canada, added, "This contribution reaffirms Merck's commitment to developing cutting-edge treatments for Canadians living with cancer."