Video of former Director General Julie Ducharme presenting NRC's offerings in Human Health Therapeutics at BioTransfer 2014 in Toronto.
(On screen: Presentation - Why partner with NRC in Life Sciences?)
So why partner with NRC in Life Sciences?
Well, we have highly qualified staff with
recognized expertise in bio and health technologies. We have a track record of
industry collaborations, state-of-the-art infrastructure. In medical devices, we can
work from concept design to prototyping. For human health, we can be a one-stop
shop from target validation to GMP-like bioprocesses.
(On screen: Presentation slide - Our Strategic Focus)
So as an RTO, we really need to be constantly scanning the environment to
understand drivers for change, and it can be scientific change, technological
change, industry change. We do all this to make sure that we are aligned with the
needs of the Canadian innovation system. So we really strive to provide a
differentiated offer compared to other innovation players, to bridge the gap
between basic research and technology deployment.
So on this graph of the value chain, that represents both product and device
development, we work mostly on this left-hand side of this value chain.
(On screen: Presentation slide - NRC's Industrial Partners)
So currently we have more than 100 collaborations with Canadian companies.
As you can see from this map, our main clusters of collaborations are in the
Montreal and greater Toronto area, but we also have collaborations out west in
Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and also in the east in the Maritimes.
(On screen: Presentation slide - Biotechnology Strategic Areas)
In human health therapeutics, we've decided to focus our activities on
biotechnology. So our focus is really on large molecules, and this is the area of
major growth for most biotechs and big pharma as well.
So we work in three main strategic areas that we call internally, programs.
So programs are a set of projects or activities
that share a common goal and vision.
So we work, as I alluded to earlier, we work on biologics to try to de-risk their
development but also to stimulate bio-manufacturing in Canada. We also work
in vaccines where we want to design new cost-effective adult vaccines and
accelerate their progress to market, and we also work in a third area where we try
to enable biologics to cross the blood-brain barrier. So to go to the brain
and we'll have a presentation on this a bit later this morning.
(On screen: Presentation slide - NRC - Human Health Therapeutics)
So to do this, we have more than 300 staff, scientists and technicians, working
in labs in Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax. Before the transformation of NRC in 2012,
we had an institute-based model. So we had an institute in Montreal, another one in
Ottawa, and another one in Halifax. Now since 2012, these three institutes have
been merged, and we all work together under the umbrella of the Human Health
therapeutics Research Centre.
So because we have all these people working in a very diverse area with
complimentary expertise, we can really tackle bigger and better things. In fact,
nowadays we are the largest team working on biologics in Canada.
expertise is in antibody generation and engineering, in scale-up bioprocess and
development. Here, you have a small picture of our Montreal pilot plant.
We also have expertise in biologics characterization, purification,
pharmacology. We can design vaccines, adjuvants, and we also developed a
specific expertise in imaging, specifically for the brain,
(On screen: Presentation slide - Conclusion)
In conclusion, as an R&D partner of choice for biotech and med-tech, at NRC we strive
to reduce the risk of critical steps in the development of biologics and health
technologies. As a result, we want products and processes to be improved and
save time from lab to market. So in collaboration with our partners, working
with them, we've enabled them to reach critical milestones to increase their
ability to attract investment while they were able to create high-quality jobs for
(On screen: Presentation - Thank you. Julie Ducharme, B Pharm, PhD. Director General, Human Health Therapeutics. 514-496-6101. Julie.Ducharme@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca. www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca.)
So thank you for your attention.
(On screen: National Research Council Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by National Research Council of Canada, 2014. Canada Wordmark.)