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Merck Canada Provides $1.8M for Quebec Personalized Medicine Research Effort

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Merck Canada on Thursday announced a C$2 million (US$1.8 million) grant to a Quebec entity in support of research into personalized medicine approaches for cancer.

The grant is being provided to the Quebec-Consortium de recherché en oncologie Clinique (Q-CROC), which plans to use it for biomarker-driven clinical research into cancer. In particular, Merck noted a public-private partnership put forward by Q-CROC and the new Centre of Excellence PreThera Research.

The center was established earlier this year to increase and improve cancer treatment options for patients by developing a prospective database and conducting molecular profiling of patients' tumors.

"This $2 million grant to Q-CROC will support patient-centered research in Quebec and ultimately may help bring about advances in oncology care," Merck Canada President and Managing Director Thomas Cannell said in a statement. The company has made a commitment to provide C$100 million in biopharmaceutical R&D in Quebec during a five-year period. It has contributed C$86 million to date, it said.

Q-CROC, which calls itself a "provincial interface for clinical research," aims to facilitate the sharing of information between industry, government, healthcare establishments, and the research community.