The COVID-19 crisis has put the spotlight on the Life Sciences and Technology sector. Actors are mobilizing to come to the aid of governments, health professionals and the population. Quebec compagnies and research institutions are showing ingenuity in countering the pandemic by proposing innovative solutions and pushing the limits of research in order to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible. Discover some of the initiatives implemented by members of our industry.  

Artificial intelligence to fight against COVID-19

MIMs and its partners are building PandemIA: An explainable Artificial Intelligence platform to personalize COVID-19 vaccination and treatment

PandemIAmonitors genomic, clinical and geodynamic data and delivers real-time indicators to public health organizations. These indicators will allow the identification of subgroups of the population most at risk of developing deadly forms of the COVID-19 and those associated with efficacy and toxicity issues of vaccines and treatments.  

Yoshua Bengio to support InVivo AI’s research as scientific advisor

Yoshua Bengio, professor at the University of Montreal and Founder of Mila, the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, will support InVivo AI in ongoing research in data-efficient deep learning and generative drug design.

How artificial intelligence is fighting the current, and future, COVID-19 pandemic

AI-powered wearables, such as a smart shirt developed by Montreal-based Hexoskin to continuously measure biometrics including respiration effort, cardiac activity, and a host of other metrics, provide options for hospital staff to minimize exposure by limiting the required visits to infected patients. CHU Sainte-Justine develops a global artificial intelligence Web platform for better management of COVID-19

Building on recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), platform is being launched today to address the needs of different clienteles during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project, developed by CHU Sainte-Justine in collaboration with the company and the University of Chicago, has been made possible thanks to the support of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation and the TransMedTech Institute.

Researchers are working together

Medicago announces production of a viable vaccine candidate for COVID-19

Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, announced today that they have successfully produced a Virus-Like Particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene. Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo preclinical testing for safety and efficacy.

Glycovax Pharma develops a vaccine against COVID-19 – A semi-synthetic vaccine in the preclinical phase

Glycovax Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company based in Montréal, is actively working on the development of a new vaccine approach to counter COVID-19. The prototype glycoconjugate vaccine is currently in the preclinical phase.

IMV Inc. Launches Plans to Advance Clinical Development of a Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19

IMV, A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company announced that it is advancing the clinical development of a DPX-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19. Vaccines against infectious disease have been a core part of IMV’s heritage across its DPX platform technology.

Combatting COVID-19 – Pharmascience Inc. closely supporting the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) Research Centre’s clinical trial

While Québec-based researchers collaborate on a large-scale Canadian study to help patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, Pharmascience has pulled out all the stops to support this project named COLCORONA. This study, led by the Principal Investigator Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, also Director at the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, and financed by the Government of Québec, aims to test the potential of a reformulation of colchicine for the reduction in risk of pulmonary complications and death linked to COVID-19.

Immune Biosolutions, DIEX Recherche, Université de Sherbrooke and Keyrus Life Science Partner up to Fight COVID-19

Immune Biosolutions, Diex Research, Keyrus Life Science and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke (FMSS) are joining forces to discover and develop innovative solutions against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Laurent Pharmaceuticals Joins Battle Against COVID-19

Laurent Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that spun off from McGill University in 2012, today announces that it is planning to test its lead drug LAU-7b in patients with COVID-19 disease, as part of a Phase 2 clinical trial.

Altasciences completes Phase 1 Study on gimsilumab for ARDS in COVID-19

Altasciences has completed a Phase I study for the development of gimsilumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), found to be up-regulated in SARS CoV-2 in patients with or at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The issue of medical equipment

Servier partners with Innovative Medicines Canada Members to Donate 100,000 Masks to Help Protect Front-Line Healthcare Workers Battling COVID-19

Servier Canada, along with other pharmaceutical companies, members of Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC), are continuing their efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by donating 100,000 N95 masks for front-line healthcare workers battling the virus. The donation is in response to the federal government’s request for additional protective equipment.

Baylis Medical Partners with Ventilators for Canadians to Manufacture Ventilators in Support of COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Baylis Medical, a Canadian-based medical device company specializing in cardiology and spine, announced today that it is partnering with Ventilators for Canadians, a consortium of Canadian manufacturers, to manufacture ventilators for hospitals across Canada.

Designing face shields to protect medical staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented need to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital staff. A team of Montreal medical experts (Neuro) has partnered with a 3D printing (AON3D) company to design and distribute face shields to protect healthcare workers as they treat patients with this life-threatening disease.

Picture from The Neuro

Bausch Health Donates Health Care Products and Supplies Through Bausch Foundation in Response To COVID-19 Pandemic

Bausch Health Companies outlined several initiatives the Company is taking to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.

Commitment of stakeholders

An overview of research activities underway at McGill and in partnership with other institutions to find vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools for COVID-19

McGill is home to some of the world’s leading authorities on treating highly infectious diseases, but the sudden rise and severe circumstances caused by COVID-19 have put their work into intense focus. The following is an overview of research activities underway at McGill and in partnership with other institutions to find vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools for this deadly virus.

COVID-19: The IRIC community comes together thanks to IVADO’s support

In the context of the global pandemic, investigators from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal are adapting their skills and their knowledge to work towards finding creative and bold solutions to counter COVID-19.

Contributions of Laval biotech 

dozen companies from Laval’s Biotech City are actively engaged in the fight against COVID-19. Nexelis is a reference laboratory for projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is collaborating in the development of vaccines and antiviral treatments while Corealis Pharma produces batches of oral formulations for antivirals for clinical trials worldwide and Roche Diagnostics provides diagnostic instruments and virus screening tests. 

Launching a COVID Biobank in Quebec

As part of the series of initiatives to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) are announcing the creation of the Québec COVID Network (QCN). The new network was established in response to the strong mobilization of members of the research community, who, over the past few weeks, have submitted over 150 research and innovation proposals to the working group assembled by the FRQ, Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

Roche Canada Launches Data Science Coalition to Advance COVID-19 Solutions

Hoffmann-La Roche Limited (Roche Canada) is pleased to announce the launch of the Roche Data Science Coalition, a group of like-minded public and private organizations committed to working with the global community to develop solutions to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collaborative initiatives to address COVID-19 Challenges: Outcomes of the TransMedTech call for innovative solutions

On March 16, the TransMedTech Institute launched its call for needs, expertise and innovative solutions, in order to support the most relevant and feasible proposals in the short term (1 to 6 months), while providing support and funding for their implementation.

Chronically Simple App Enhanced to Meet the COVID-19 Challenges of the Medically Vulnerable

Chronically Simple today released updates to its secure web-based and mobile application that helps patients and caregivers manage the administrative burden that accompanies living with a chronic illness or disability. Chronically Simple was positioned to roll out new developments to the app in March after eight months of work; however, with the COVID-19 crisis rapidly unfolding, the company quickly pivoted by working with their community to determine what would be most impactful to patients and caregivers amidst the pandemic. The tool was refined within less than two weeks and is now available to meet the community’s pressing needs.