NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) and the nonprofit Brain Canada plan to provide at least C$10 million (US$9.2 million) for researchers developing tools, technologies, and platforms that will speed drug development for brain and nervous system disorders.
The partners will provide up to C$1.5 million over three years to fund each of these projects, which may involve a wide range of research methods and approaches related to drug research, although they will not directly fund drug development, according to CQDM. The partners expect to provide approximately seven grants.
Research teams may use biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, or robotics approaches to develop tools for high-throughput screening, biomarkers, medical devices, diagnostics, imaging tools, optogenetics, in silico and in vitro screening, or novel animal models with translational capacity.
The funding program's ultimate goal is to create new tools to help prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure neurological disorders, but the partners also aim to spur multidisciplinary neuroscience collaborations that join researchers in Quebec and other Canadian provinces with small and medium-sized enterprises.
The partners will fund teams of at least two or more investigators at academic institutions, hospitals, or research institutes and they strongly encourage applicants to collaborate with small and medium-sized enterprises on their projects. CQDM said that as much as 50 percent of the portion of the project budget that it provides may be used to fund the private enterprises involved in these projects.
CQDM's private founding partners include AstraZeneca, Merck, and Pfizer, and other collaborating members include Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, and Novartis.