Former Director General Julie Ducharme presenting NRC’s offerings in Human Health Therapeutics at BioTransfer 2014 in Toronto


MP4 Format

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. Our specific 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, pre-clinically.

(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 Canadians.

(On screen: Presentation - Thank you. Julie Ducharme, B Pharm, PhD. Director General, Human Health Therapeutics. 514-496-6101.

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.)

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