Quebec strengthens its leadership in personalized health care

- The QNPHC welcomes the creation of the first integrated clinical genomic center in Canada,
and the new National Research and Innovation Policy -

MONTREAL, QC, October 21, 2013. The Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care (QNPHC) welcomes with enthusiasm two major initiatives in the development and implementation of personalized health care in Quebec, thereby strengthening Quebec global leadership in the sector. First, the Ste-Justine University Hospital Center (CHU) and Genome Quebec today announced the creation of the first integrated pediatric clinical genomic center in Canada, which will allow children and their parents to benefit from genomic discoveries for improved diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic diseases. This initiative is at the forefront of what is being done in the world currently. Second, the new National Research and Innovation Policy (PNRI), which was made public last week with investments of $3.7 billion over five years, will target personalized health care (PHC) as one of Quebec’s priority strategic sectors.

“Supporting research and innovation, and translating discoveries into clinical activities are vital for Quebec to establish its global leadership in personalized health care, while improving the health of our citizens and enhancing the efficiency of our health care system. We are very pleased to see the establishment in Quebec of a first clinical genomic center and to count on the new PNRI that ranks personalized health care as one of seven priority strategic sectors for Quebec, along with the related fields of biotechnology and information and communication technologies,” stated David Levine, Chairman of the QNPHC.

“Quebec has an exceptional number of world-class academic researchers, large private corporations and innovative SMEs working in personalized health care in a host of areas such as cancer, chronic diseases, mental health and even primary care. Through our five university hospital centres (CHU) and specialized university institutes, where research meets clinicians and patients, Quebec is capable of developing cutting-edge know-how by demonstrating how personalized health care can be judiciously implemented,” Mr. Levine added.

Since early 2013, over $110 million has been invested in Quebec by the governments of Quebec and of Canada and the private sector in personalized health care research partnerships, including the Personalized Medicine Partnership for Cancer and eight large-scale research projects selected as part of the Genome Canada and CIHR personalized health competition. In addition, the Government of Quebec will soon be announcing a first wave of projects selected under the Fonds de partenariat pour un Québec innovant et en santé, which will translate into overall public-private investments of $250 million, with a particular focus on personalized health care. All of these investments supported by the new PNRI confirm the importance of personalized health care as a growing sector of excellence in Quebec.

Also underway this week in Montreal is the International Forum on Health, which features a segment on new clinical practices in personalized health care. On October 23, the QNPHC will be hosting a panel with international opinion leaders on the clinical experience of personalized health care and, on October 24, will be making a presentation. In addition, on November 19, the QNPHC will be organizing a private breakfast meeting between members of the Network and CHU representatives to discuss the clinical implementation of personalized health care.

About Personalized Health Care

Discoveries and innovations in molecular biology coupled with the huge potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) will be giving rise to personalized health care. This new approach will lead the way to a personalized, preventive form of medicine based on the knowledge of individual risk factors for certain diseases. It will also help determine a patient’s likelihood of responding to a given treatment using genetic data and new genomic tests, among others. Today’s therapies have an average efficiency rate of 40 percent, but with PHC, this rate could increase considerably, so that patients receive the most effective treatment with the fewest side effects. With new technologies, information on a person’s medical history, lifestyle and environment will be easier to access and use, thus improving medical follow-up and ensuring the full participation of citizens in the management of their own health.  In other words, PHC has the potential to radically change the way we practise medicine and manage health care.

About the Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care

The Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care (QNPHC) is a not-for-profit organization created in 2011 to promote the development and implementation of personalized health care in Quebec. It provides a focal point and a platform for concerted action and promotion for all stakeholders working in research, development, deployment and management of personalized health care in Quebec with significant benefits for the health of Quebecers, the efficiency of the healthcare system, the creation of economic wealth and research excellence. The QNPHC currently brings together some 40 Quebec organizations, both public and private, as well researchers and opinion leaders.



Media contact and information:

Paule De Blois
Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care
Executive Director
514 331-1010