Editorial of Frank Béraud - November 2018
November 12, 2018
These days, I can feel the vitality of the life sciences sector everywhere.
I felt it all the way to Philadelphia at the Medtech Conference where Quebec presented a very welcoming and especially very busy pavilion by the impressive delegation of the province’s businesses and organizations. We carried out many business meetings on site. One of the reasons I was there was in fact to enter into a partnership agreement between Montréal InVivo, Life Sciences Pennsylvania and Québec International. Together, we aim to establish an additional corridor to create a connection with eastern United States for businesses intent on developing their business ties with this region.
The vitality is also very much alive and well in the sector’s business capitalization. We have had the opportunity to observe the closing of very significant rounds of financing over the past few weeks; some compelling examples that come to mind are Milestone Pharma, Theratechnologies, Acasti Pharma and Feldan, to name but a few. I spoke about this very topic just recently in an interview. I pointed out just how remarkable it is and that it is a very strong indicator of how well our companies are performing.
Another source of this booming, sparkling vitality is the second edition of the Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Development Program. It will begin in February 2019 and will welcome even more students, entrepreneurs and new partners. In fact, the Transmedtech Institute and Polytechnique Montréal will take on a new module dedicated to medical technologies that will be added to the existing ones. A warm welcome to these new partners!
I must say, however, that I am disappointed in the lack of excitement and action in access to health data. The Institut de la statistique du Québec received the mandate and significant funding to develop a central access point. We are eager to set a launch date. I remain convinced that Quebec can no longer do without this unique competitive edge of reliable, secure and quick access to de-identified clinical and administrative data. But if this cannot be achieved quickly, it would be preferable to explore other options for which data would be more easily accessible. I think it’s the right time to launch one or more pilot projects focused on primary care in the health network to explore this possibility.
Of course, I also feel the sparkling vitality in the launch of the big life sciences event that we are organizing with 14 other organizations in the sector that will be taking place on April 24 and 25, 2019 at La Tohu. I think you understood the rather obvious references throughout this note to this event that is in fact called Effervescence 2019: the future of life sciences. I look forward to seeing you there.
Do you feel the bubbling, sparking effervescence?