Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Collaborative Drug Development is Advancing New Therapies for Prostate Cancer


Sherbrooke, September 29, 2015 –The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and the Institut de pharmacologie de Sherbrooke (IPS)  are pleased to announce a new collaborative drug development project focused on prostate cancer. This project will leverage the knowledge, expertise and infrastructure of CDRD to advance Dr. Robert Day’s pioneering research towards the development of new therapies which target PACE4, an enzyme recently implicated in prostate cancer. Dr. Robert Day is a research professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Research Center of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month which highlights why this much needed and timely research is so important. One in eight Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men. Prostate cancer survival rates are high when it is detected early in patients, but resistance to currently available treatments eventually develops in a high proportion of patients, leading to cancer relapse and progression. Thus, there is a clear unmet medical need for new therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer treatment.

Through Dr. Day’s laboratory, his team will continue to develop the PACE4 inhibitor, named “C23”, which has induced impressive regression of prostate cancer tumour growth in early studies.

To support the clinical and commercial translation of this exciting research, CDRD will work with Dr. Day to develop a formulation of the inhibitor drug which is stable in the body and can be ingested in a more patient friendly tablet rather than by injection. CDRD will also evaluate important safety considerations and the potential for side effects, and may perform further chemistry studies to overcome any issues identified. Through this collaboration, a promising new inhibitor drug will be advanced towards becoming a viable therapeutic for prostate cancer patients.  

President and CEO of CDRD, Karimah Es Sabar commented, “We are excited to support Dr. Day and his associates in their research that aims to solve an important medical need. This project is just one example of how CDRD is strengthening drug development and commercialization opportunities in Quebec and supporting Canadian researchers to advance their early-stage health-related discoveries towards commercialization. By utilizing and leveraging our complementary expertise and infrastructure, we are accelerating the development of a safe and effective treatment for prostate cancer patients.”

Last June, CDRD and the IPS announced a major partnership based on advanced research discoveries towards commercialization and clinical applications. This partnership will enhance drug discovery infrastructure and expertise in Quebec to further support Canadian health researchers. “This is a great opportunity for Dr. Day, his team and the IPS,” said Dr. Eric Marsault, IPS Director. “This partnership strengthens our position as an innovation hub in Québec and a major player in the drug discovery arena. It also recognizes the excellence of the research currently being undertaken by Dr. Day as a world leader in prostate cancer research.”

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Marie Gendron
Agente de communication – Université de Sherbrooke
Tél. 819 821-8000, poste 72581

Julia White
Manager, Communications – CDRD
Telephone: 604-827-1226 | Mobile: 604-307-2372

About the Institut de pharmacologie de Sherbrooke

Founded in 1997, the Institut de pharmacologie de Sherbrooke (IPS) is located on the health-sciences campus and is rooted in two fields in which the Université de Sherbrooke has distinguished itself internationally: pharmacology and organic chemistry. Today, the IPS brings together 33 researchers and their research teams from 10 departments and 3 faculties (medicine and health sciences, science, and engineering). Since its creation, the IPS has fostered the expansion of its interdisciplinary collaborations in developing medications and diagnostic agents as well as validating potentially therapeutic and/or diagnostic targets and technologies aimed at improving these processes. The institute is also an incubator allowing for the emergence of innovative technologies with high market potential. For more information:

About the Centre for Drug Research and Development

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is Canada’s fully-integrated national drug development and commercialization centre, providing expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading health research institutions to advance promising early-stage drug candidates. Our mandate is to de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector — thus successfully bridging the commercialization gap between academia and industry, and translating research discoveries into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). For more information:

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