IRICoR and Université de Montréal Enter into Research Collaboration with AbbVie to Discover Tumor-Specific Neoantigens

Montreal, June 5, 2018 – The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR) and its host institution, the Université de Montréal (UdeM) today announced that they have entered into a research collaboration with AbbVie, a global research and development-driven biopharmaceutical company, in order to identify Tumor-Specific Neoantigens (TSNA) based on a novel proprietary platform developed by Drs. Claude Perreault and Pierre Thibault, both of whom are Principal Investigators at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal.

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will fund certain research activities at the IRIC to identify TSNA in a specific cancer indication.  AbbVie will obtain an option to secure an exclusive worldwide license on the intellectual property arising from the collaboration.

“We are very pleased to have been able to successfully conclude an agreement with AbbVie around the identification of TSNA that are of mutual interest to both AbbVie and to IRICoR,” stated Dr. Steven Klein, Vice-President, Business Development of IRICoR. “Having a partner such as AbbVie validates the novel approach that Drs. Perreault and Thibault have developed to identify TSNA across multiple tumor types, and demonstrates the value of IRICoR in initially funding this unique platform.  This is the second platform technology supported by IRICoR and developed by Drs. Perreault and Thibault that has been advanced towards commercialization. The first one is based on the identification of Minor Histocompatibility Antigens which has been licensed to SpecificiT, a Montreal-based immunotherapy-focused company.”

“AbbVie is truly excited about this partnership because it provides a real opportunity to identify new antigens that are produced in cancer cells, which the immune system can recognize. Drs. Perreault’s and Thibault’s work consists of developing technologies to identify these specific proteins at the surface of cancer cells and their approach is quite novel. It’s an area of immuno-oncology we are eager to investigate in order to accelerate and discover new therapies,” explains Dr. Thomas Hudson, VP, Head of Oncology Discovery and Early Development, AbbVie.

“Drs. Perreault’s and Thibault’s research will undoubtedly have a remarkable impact on how we treat cancer. Ultimately, AbbVie looks for innovative partnerships and partners who are pushing the boundaries of science in order to tackle the toughest challenges in oncology,” says Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager, AbbVie Canada.


Watch the video A collaboration between the IRIC and AbbVie facilitated by IRICoR  featuring Dr. Tom Hudson, M.D., VP, Oncology Discovery and Early Development at AbbVie


Watch the video IRICOR, partenaire clé en valorisation de la recherche featuring Dr. Claude Perreault, principal investigator working in the IRIC’s Immunobiology research unit and hematologist at Hopîtal Maisonneuve-Rosemont at IRIC 



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 the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (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 potential 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:

 Twitter: @IRICoR


About AbbVie

AbbVie is a global, research and development-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience.  In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at and Follow @abbvieCanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.


About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal

 An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of the Université de Montréal, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Université de Montréal was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and discover new, more effective therapies to counter this disease. The 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:

Consult our virtual press kit 

 Facebook: @iric.umontreal

Twitter: @IRIC_umontreal



Source: Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)


Information or interview

Catherine Cardinal

Chief, Communication and Media Relations

514 343-6111 # 41299


Muriel Haraoui

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AbbVie Canada

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