Research helps companies discover new cancer-fighting drugs

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.


The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer helps pharmaceutical companies develop new therapies that will reduce healthcare costs and save lives.

This year alone, it is estimated that more than 190,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Arguably, it is one of the most worrying of modern diseases, along with cardiovascular and inherited illnesses.

Pharmaceutical companies continue to invest billions in drug research and development and are increasingly turning to the labs and expertise at university research centres rather than conducting the work in-house.

Such is the case with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a multinational pharmaceutical company that partnered with the drug discovery and commercialization branch of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRICor) at the Université de Montréal. The institute encompasses a series of state-of-the-art labs headed by Michel Bouvier, a renowned biochemist.

Read more of Research helps companies discover new cancer-fighting drugs.

Find more stories of research in action on, the website of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

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Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) was built on the ideals of thinking big and investing in areas that matter to Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has ensured Canadian researchers have the tools — the cutting-edge labs, facilities and equipment — they need to push the frontiers of knowledge in all disciplines, and to contribute to the full spectrum of research — from discovery to technology development.