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Novel Drug Discovery Project for the Treatment of Cancer Added to NEOMED’s Portfolio

24 April 2015|Announcement| No Comments

NEOMED announced today that in collaboration with McGill University, it is embarking on a new drug discovery project that targets cancer. Executed in collaboration with lead investigator Michael Witcher of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, the project aims to identify small molecule inhibitors of poly (ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG) – an enzyme that plays a key role in DNA damage repair and in the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells, promoting their growth and invasive capability. PARG is elevated in cancers of the breast, lungs, prostate, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The inhibition of PARG aims to repress cancer growth and to sensitize cancer cells to DNA damage therapy.

“Cancer is a devastating disease that is a major focus of academic and pharmaceutical research. At NEOMED, we’re looking forward to conducting an exciting project together with Dr. Witcher on this important and challenging cancer target,” said Kemal Payza, Project Director at NEOMED.

“The collaboration between NEOMED and my lab has been organic from the start,” stated Dr. Michael Witcher. “Innovative ideas fly around whenever the team meets, and I am confident this drug discovery program will have major clinical benefits.”



NEOMED is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster the development of promising therapeutic approaches emerging from academia and biotechnology companies. Created in 2012, NEOMED supports the development of projects up to the stage of human proof of concept. NEOMED operates in a virtual mode using the services of the NEOMED Institute. The Institute is an open-access drug discovery hub with two high-tech research and development facilities; one in Technoparc Montréal’s Saint-Laurent Campus, specializing in small molecule therapeutics, and the other facility, NEOMED’s biologics and vaccine division, is located in Laval. NEOMED is jointly funded by the pharmaceutical industry, the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations du Québec, and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) of Canada. For more information, please visit our website:

McGill University is one of Canada’s best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from some 150 countries, its student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. McGill was founded in 1821 thanks to a generous bequest by James McGill, and since then, they have grown from a small college to a bustling university with two campuses, 11 faculties, some 300 programs of study, and 39,500 students. The University also partners with four affiliated teaching hospitals including the Jewish General Hospital to graduate over 1,000 health care professionals each year.

For more information, please visit

For more information about the Jewish General Hospital, please visit:

For more information about the Lady Davis Institute, please visit:


For more information, please contact:

Mounia Azzi, PhD
Director, Scientific Affairs

7171 Frederick-Banting
Montréal, Québec H4S 1Z9


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