* Gordon C. McCauley, CDRD and Robert Livingston, Merck, made the joint announcement at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa.

Ottawa, Canada – The Canadian scientific community gathered in Ottawa this week to engage in a national dialogue on science, technology and innovation policy at the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference. Just prior to the Keynote Address at this event by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Merck Canada Inc. and CDRD – The Centre for Drug Research and Development, announced the establishment of a new $1.5M Merck-CDRD Innovation Fund. This fund will go directly towards the advancement of projects of high therapeutic potential carried out at CDRD in collaboration with academic researchers.

As Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, CDRD has established Innovation Funds with leading industry and foundation partners.  These funds support Canadian life sciences researchers, and enable the translation of discoveries into innovative therapeutic products and potentially improved health outcomes for patients. The Merck-CDRD Innovation Fund builds on the long-standing partnership between the two organizations that has now dedicated over $5M towards advancing cutting-edge science of our academic partners, including Merck’s support of the NeuroCDRD platform at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University (MNI).

“This collaborative partnership further illustrates that Merck is committed to contributing to Canada’s flourishing life sciences sector, which represents an enormous opportunity for economic growth and health innovation,” said Jennifer Chan, Vice President, Policy and External Affairs, Merck Canada Inc. “We are committed to working collaboratively with governments, universities and other stakeholders to discover, develop and implement health solutions that improve patient outcomes in a manner that is consistent with the sustainability of our healthcare system.”

Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of CDRD added, “The Merck-CDRD Innovation fund is another example of the strong partnership my colleagues have built over many years with our global industry partners, and the critical part they play in the success of not only CDRD, but of Canada’s health sciences sector. It also speaks to the spirit of collaboration that exists in Canada. By working together, we can all be catalysts for Canadian life sciences leading the world.”

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About Merck
For over a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca and connect with us on YouTube and Twitter @MerckCanada.

About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. A global leader in bridging commercialization gaps to translate early-stage discoveries and technologies into new health innovations, CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new health products for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). Find CDRD online at www.cdrd.ca and on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

For additional information, please contact:
Dominique Quirion
External Consultant
Merck Canada Inc.

Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications