Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

Common menu bar links


Funded 2014-20

This link will take you to another Web site
NEOMED Institute

NCE contributions
$13.5 million

Montréal, Quebec

Transforming academic innovations into the drugs of tomorrow

New commercialization models involving partnerships between big pharma, small biotechs and universities are becoming the norm for advancing promising drug discoveries from lab to bedside. The NEOMED Institute operates in two integrated R&D facilities: one specializing in small molecule therapeutics, and the other, specializing in the development of biologics and vaccines. NEOMED is leveraging these state-of-the-art R&D facilities and their multi-tenant, open-access drug development hub, along with additional funding from the Quebec Government, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Purdue Pharma to advance outstanding Canadian discoveries towards successful commercialization.

NEOMED identified promising drug discovery projects emerging from academia and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It then worked closely with project originators, academic laboratories and contract research organizations to advance the research to the all-important proof-of-concept stage in humans. This approach improved the bottom line for Canadian SMEs, while strengthening the network of service and clinical companies based in Canada. It also created strong ties between SMEs and international pharmaceutical companies, and new opportunities to conduct clinical trials of new drugs in Canada.

Among the results

  • NEOMED hosted more than 30 high-quality life sciences companies with more than 355 full-time employees across its two R&D facilities.
  • NEOMED has advanced a portfolio of 14 innovative projects, including its two commercialization successes, one that licensed its P2X3 program for chronic cough to Bellus Health and the signature of an exclusive global option and license agreement with the Californian company, Artelo Biosciences, for NEO1940 a novel, peripherally restricted, CB1/CB2 agonist developed as an anti-cancer therapeutic. NEOMED also completed a Phase IIa clinical trial for its drug candidate NEO6860, a medication intended for osteoarthritis-associated pain and other indications.
  • NEOMED sold its first spin-off company, NEOMED Labs, to Ampersand Capital, a U.S based private equity firm.
  • NEOMED announced the launch of its first start-up biotechnology company, Epigene Therapeutics.

Following the support from the CECR Program, three successful organizations, CDRD – The Centre for Drug Research and Development, the NEOMED Institute, and Accel-Rx came together to form a new pan-Canadian, adMare BioInnovations to being their collective resources together, and continue to advance the respective mission of each under the umbrella of this new organization. For more information, please visit