$16 Million Life Sciences Centre to be Constructed in Laval

servierServier Canada has announced it will be constructing a new $16.3 million Centre of Excellence in Clinical Research. The life sciences complex will focus on research in cardiovascular disease, cancer and neuropsychiatry, and will create 38 new jobs in Laval, Montreal’s largest suburb.

Servier is the Canadian arm of the $3.5 billion pharmaceutical giant headquartered outside of Paris, France. According to Les Affaires, the 38 new employees will be added to the 161 employees that Servier currently employs in Quebec. Worldwide, Servier has 22,000 employees in 140 countries.

“The Servier Research Group…decided to bolster its research endeavours in Canada, particularly in Québec, since the level of excellence in the research sector make it an ideal location to advance therapeutic innovation,” said Emmanuel Canet, President of Servier R&D.

Frédéric Fasano added that health is a priority issue. “Our mission is to make available to the medical profession and Canadian patients the best possible therapeutic solutions,” said Servier Canada’s CEO. “In order to achieve this, we must not only bolster our research efforts, but also benefit from a health policy that supports innovation.”

The Parti Quebecois’ Nicholas Marceau was on hand for the announcement in Biotech City, the Laval-based cluster of biotechnology and life sciences that is home to more than 80 companies and 5,000 employees. The PQ’s Minister of Finance and the Economy confirmed that the provincial government would be allocating $1 million in non-refundable financial contribution to help launch the project.

Several other Quebec-based biotech and life science companies are supporting Servier Canada in the new project. They include: Montreal International, a public-private organization dedicated to Montreal’s economic development; Laval Technopole, a municipal mandate to attract economic development to Laval; Montreal InVivo, the life sciences and health technologies (LSHT) cluster of the Metropolitan Montréal; and the Biotech City.

Montreal International’s Élie Farah said that Servier’s success in innovative research will up the profile of Greater Montreal and Quebec as a leader in life sciences and health technologies.

Meanwhile Montreal InVivo’s Michelle Savoie said that it’s “very encouraging” when a major pharmaceutical company like Servier decides to increase its presence in Québec.

“This decision not only provides interesting opportunities for sector workers, but also makes it possible to maintain and develop the necessary expertise in the ecosystem of pharmaceutical innovation in Montréal and in Québec,” said Savoie.

Servier’s new centre will be located in Laval’s Biotech City, already home to a university (INRS), research laboratories, a business incubator and major biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies. Biotech City is located within the Laval Science and High Technology Park, an internationally renowned science campus that houses both universities and companies.

The LSHT cluster of Greater Montréal is comprised of nearly 620 organizations, including over 150 research centres and 80 subsidiaries of world-class companies, employing over 40,000 people.

Today’s news comes just a few days after the INRS research university launched its new $1.6 million post-secondary program that focuses on wireless networks and systems.

To add to that, we commented that money was flying around Montreal for life science endeavours. That’s because both the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Fonds de Solidarité du Quebec (FTQ) announced a $30 million commitment to Sanderling Ventures, to create a permanent facility for the development of early-stage life science projects in Montréal.

All the new developments are great news for Quebec and Canada’s economy. As a result, the future prospect of the Greater Montreal area being seen as the global leader in biotech and life sciences isn’t a far stretch.

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