MONTREAL, Jan. 23, 2021 /CNW/ – Today the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) announced an important step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by making public the results of its COLCORONA study on ways to prevent morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19. Pharmascience Inc., one of the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical companies, has supported this study since its inception.
“Pharmascience cannot comment on the results of the trial at this time. But we are proud to have supported Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif and his team at the MHI Research Centre and would like to congratulate them on their remarkable contribution to the fight against COVID-19,” said Pharmascience Chief Executive Officer Dr. David Goodman. We are also proud to associate ourselves with this landmark trial made possible thanks to the support of the Quebec Government and international funding bodies such as the Gates Foundation and the US National Institutes of Health. It was a privilege for Pharmascience to contribute to such an endeavor.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for Canada’s healthcare system to explore the full innovative potential of already approved pharmaceuticals such as colchicine, which has been used successfully for decades to treat gout and familial Mediterranean fever.
“By supporting therapeutic trials such as COLCORONA, Pharmascience aims to improve patient care by finding new uses for existing and established drugs that can be made available at affordable prices,” said Dr. Goodman. “Such projects are perfectly in line with our commitment to further therapeutic advances through responsible social entrepreneurship.”
Repurposed generic drugs are far more affordable than developing new agents. This makes them an attractive, cost-effective option for public and private drug insurance programs, which constantly face sustainability issues.
“Unfortunately, very few pharmaceutical manufacturers endeavor to repurpose existing drugs because of inherent commercial barriers,” said Dr. Goodman. Generic drugs are usually not patented, making companies reluctant to sponsor new research because there is no guarantee that their additional investments will be recovered. Pharmascience decided to take this risk in the best interest of patients, especially given the dramatic circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We will need help from governments to develop innovative approval and reimbursement frameworks that recognize this form of innovation so this work can become self-sustaining,” said Dr. Goodman.
About Pharmascience Inc.
Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec. With its head office located in Montreal and its 1,500 employees, Pharmascience Inc. is a private pharmaceutical company with deep roots in Canada, and whose global reach spans across more than 60 countries. Ranked 47th among the top 100 Canadian investors in research and development (R&D) thanks to $49,5 million investment in 2018, Pharmascience Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of generic drugs in the country.
SOURCE Pharmascience Inc.