In an effort to eradicate cancer once and for all, pharmaceutical company Merck has partnered with the FRQS (Fonds de recherche du Quebec-Santé), investing $15 million over the next three years to create Oncopole, a centralized hub to combat cancer.

“This initiative is part of the changes we are making to Québec’s healthcare system,” said Quebec Health Minister Dr. Gaétan Barrette following last week’s announcement . “It is a collaborative effort driven by innovation and interdisciplinarity.

“Patients will be the first to reap the benefits of this project, from both a clinical and a quality of care standpoint. In our collective fight against cancer, this hub of excellence and expertise is destined to become a key partner for Québec, particularly for the cancer network,” Barrette explained.

The goal of Oncopole is to bring together experts in the field of oncology via research as well as creating a network to create innovative solutions to fighting cancer.

“Merck is delighted to have found in Québec the fertile environment needed to build this unique alliance between public and private partners,” said President and Managing Director of Merck Canada Inc. Chirfi Guindo. The collaboration between the Ministry of Health and

Social Services and the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation is an important asset for a business such as ours.

“Québec already benefits from significant oncology expertise and the Oncopole will be able to play its part by being an accelerator for promising innovations which will help cancer patients,” the Merck president noted. “We may be the first private partner but we hope that other businesses will join us.”

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