National Research Council of Canada supports development of 4 COVID-19 therapeutic candidates

Investment of $9 million will help ensure Canadian innovators have the tools needed to develop treatments today and into the future

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 18, 2020 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is aggressively pursuing the purchase and development of COVID-19 treatments and related supplies to protect Canadians and is working to strengthen Canada's biomanufacturing sector. This includes engaging with Canadian scientists, businesses and manufacturers to build Canada's capacity to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Today, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced it is providing advisory services and over $9 million in research and development funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support 4 therapeutic firms. These include:

    --  Up to $289,032.00 to Bold Therapeutics (Vancouver, BC) for a project to
        prepare preclinical efficacy data in live SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), support
        preparation for clinical trials, and to support manufacturing of its
        BOLD-100 investigational therapy to treat patients with viral
        infections, including COVID-19.
    --  Up to $4,609,000.00 to JN Nova Pharma (Montreal, Que) to assist in the
        development of a proprietary drug to block coronavirus infection, while
        reducing the impacts of the disease in patients exhibiting COVID-19
        symptoms so they may recover faster.
    --  Up to $4,166,796.00 to Laurent Pharmaceuticals (Montreal, Que) for the
        clinical development of their LAU-7b antiviral and inflammation
        controlling therapy for COVID-19 infections.

    --  Up to $109,764.00 to Qu Biologics (Vancouver, BC) for a project to
        provide proof-of-concept evidence for the safety and efficacy of a
        preventative treatment as well as therapeutic use of a treatment to
        protect the lungs and prevent serious COVID-19 infection.

These investments will help produce safe and effective treatments for those who contract the COVID-19 virus, while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics.

Quick facts

    --  The National Research Council of Canada's Human Health Therapeutics
        Research Centre is involved in research and development collaborations
        with JN Nova Pharma to co-develop a platform therapeutic approach to
        address complex cases of COVID-19; and Qu Biologics to assess their
        product's efficacy in reducing the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in
        animal models.
    --  For over 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial
        Research Assistance Program has been stimulating economic growth in
        Canada by providing funding and advisory services to small and
        medium-sized businesses so they can grow, build their innovation
        capacity and successfully take their ideas to market.
    --  Through its network of over 255 industrial technology advisors located
        in over 110 locations across Canada, NRC IRAP provides customized
        solutions to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through
        financial assistance, expert advice, and access to national and
        international networks across all industry sectors.


"As the world works towards an effective COVID-19 vaccine, we cannot lose sight of the importance of developing treatments to prevent a worsening of the disease for those stricken with the virus. Today's announcement is part of our Government's plan to invest in projects that will support Canada in the global race to find treatments for COVID-19 while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics to protect the health and safety of all Canadians."
The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"Through these strategic investments, we are ensuring we support Canadian industry in developing Canada's capacity to produce therapeutics to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and for future pandemics. These therapeutic candidates will provide safe and effective treatments for those diagnosed with COVID-19."
Roger Scott-Douglas, PhD, Acting President, National Research Council of Canada

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SOURCE National Research Council Canada