Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Exactis Innovation - Exactis*

$15 million for 2014-19
About   |   News   |   Features
Exactis Innovation

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$8.9 million

Montréal, Quebec

President and CEO
Richard Fajzel Richard Fajzel

Chief Scientific Officer
Dajan O’Donnell Dajan O’Donnell

Board chair
Gerald Batist Gerald Batist
Director, McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer

Canada as a world-class centre for cutting-edge cancer clinical trials

The opportunity

In this new era of personalized medicine, smaller patient populations are recruited to clinical trials based on very distinct genetic or molecular biomarker indicators. Identifying the right patients for trials of new targeted agents is time-consuming and costly. There are currently no pan-Canadian cancer registries containing patient clinical data with associated tumour molecular data. Having a large clinical and molecular database of patients and their banked tumours will allow rapid identification of patient-treatment matches, resulting in faster access for patients to new treatments, an accelerated clinical development process and reduced clinical trial costs.

How Exactis is seizing the opportunity

Exactis Innovation is building on the Quebec-Clinical Research Organization in Cancer (Q-CROC) network of clinicians and researchers with unique expertise in biopsy and biomarker-driven trials. By leveraging Q-CROC’s human infrastructure and strong partnerships with industry, Exactis is spearheading the Excellence in Advanced Cancer Clinical Trials (ExACCT) initiative. At the core of the initiative is a pan-Canadian biobank and database of patient biospecimens associated with an extensive clinical and molecular database. The critical engine of the database is the Personalize my Treatment (PMT) initiative. The large patient database will provide an invaluable recruitment base and wealth of data to plan and execute biomarker-driven clinical trials. Exactis is building an active network of large pharma, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), hospitals, research institutes and government organizations dedicated to positioning Canada as a world-class centre for cutting-edge cancer clinical trials.

Among the results

  • Exactis attracted $9.2 million in investments from the Quebec government and more than $17 million from the private sector (pharma and SMEs) and national cancer research organizations for Exactis and the ExACCT initiative. In 2016, the PMT initiative received $2 million in funding from Merck and $1 million each from the Cancer Research Society and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation.
  • Exactis created patient material and communication tools to engage cancer patients in the PMT initiative. End-users of the database (pharma, biotech, researchers and clinicians) can request information thanks to a new interface.
  • In November 2015, the PMT initiative was approved through the Jewish General Hospital Ethics Board, allowing for adoption throughout Quebec cancer centres. In 2016, the initiative was also approved in New Brunswick and Ontario. Patient enrollment has begun at four sites, with four more expected to begin by spring 2017.
  • Exactis established a partnership with the Center for Genomics and Policy to explore the ethical policy issues of personalized medicine, tumour profiling and consent.

Connect with Exactis

* (formerly known as PreThera Research)


The chances of surviving cancer are about to get better
June 19, 2017
New cancer-fighting drugs are being developed every year. But which one is the right one for you and your particular cancer? Read more