IRICoR and C3i Announce Partnership to Identify novel Tumor-Specific Antigens (TSAs)

Novel Approach to Identifying TSAs based on a unique mass spectrometry approach discovered at IRIC combined with expertise in genomic sequencing and clinical validation from C3i


Montreal, April 4, 2017The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR) and the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) are pleased to announce a major collaboration to identify novel tumor specific antigens (TSAs) in a number of solid and hematological cancers. This collaboration will exploit a novel method to identify Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)-associated peptides by mass spectrometry developed by Dr. Claude Perreault and colleagues at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal.  Under the leadership of Dr. Lambert Busque, a haematologist involved in clinical research and biomarkers development at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, C3i will be adding their expertise in genomic sequencing and clinical validation for the targeted indications. In addition to access to their mutual intellectual property and related know-how, IRICoR and C3i will jointly finance the project.

“We are very excited to initiate this first collaboration with C3i,” commented Dr. Nadine Beauger, Chief Executive Officer at IRICoR. “Our combined expertise will allow us to deliver clinically validated therapies from academic innovation initially identified and supported by IRICoR. With the support of IRICoR, Dr. Perreault and his colleagues are developing a novel and unique approach to rapidly identifying clinically relevant TSAs which can stimulate MHC Class I-specific T cell responses. By having access to human tumor samples as well as the cell therapy and clinical expertise at C3i, this collaboration will allow us to generate important proof of concept data and contribute to a significant scientific trend in cancer immunotherapy. This very promising collaboration is a further example of IRICoR’s strategic positioning at the centre of the drug discovery and project maturation chain in academia.”

“We are extremely delighted to be partnering with IRICoR in this project and leveraging their deep scientific knowledge. I look forward to a long and successful strategic collaboration” said Francois Bettez, Chief Executive Officer of C3i. ”The identification of tumor-specific neoantigens is vital for the development of targeted therapies that maximize antitumor efficacy and minimize off-target toxicities and is fully aligned with our mandate to support discovery, commercialisation and access to new cancer immunotherapies. This collaborative initiative is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together two acclaimed research teams to help find innovative solutions in this booming approach. The expertise of C3i and IRICoR are in continuum to accelerate access to innovative cancer immunotherapies for patients.”

About C3i

The Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) is a unique entity created in early 2016 with the ultimate goal to accelerate access to innovative cancer immunotherapies for Canadians. Our vision is to be Canada’s catalyst for cancer immunotherapy business development. C3i will be the only Canadian immunotherapy development organisation that will lead to the clinical implementation and to the commercialization of these new therapeutic methods. To this end, we propose a novel business model combining direct patient clinical diagnostics using new genomic technologies, good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards and rapid access to clinical trials and regulatory support.

About Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital

Affiliated to the Université de Montréal, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR), part of CIUSSS-1954. The HMR has a major research center of close to sixty researchers. There are four distinct sectors at the national and international levels: immuno-oncology, vision health, nephrology and cell therapy. Each year, the HMR receives more than 4,000 students, future physicians, nurses and health care professionals

About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC)

An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of the Université de Montreal, IRIC was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and discover new, more effective therapies to counter this disease. IRIC operates according to a model that is unique in Canada. Its innovative approach to research has already led to discoveries that will, over the coming years, have a significant impact on the fight against cancer. For more information:

About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)

As Université de Montréal’s drug discovery and project maturation cluster, IRICoR is a not-for-profit organization based at IRIC, with the mandate to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies in cancer, immunotherapy and related fields. Since its creation in 2008, IRICoR successfully invests in and supports cutting-edge projects with disruptive technologies to rapidly translate innovation into patient-accessible therapies, through either co-development partnerships with industry or company creation. IRICoR seamlessly integrates business-related expertise with industry-level drug discovery in a world-renowned research institute, providing academics with access to a full drug discovery chain with one of the largest academia-based medicinal chemistry groups in Canada. For more information about IRICoR:


Steven J. Klein, Ph.D., MBA
Vice-President, Business Development
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer –
Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)

Catherine Cardinal, MSc
Chief, Communication and Media Relations
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
(514) 343-7770 # 41299

Francois Bettez, B. Sc. M.Sc.
Chief Executive Officer
Centre of Commercialisation of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i)

Florence Meney
Relations médias
CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal


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