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Amgen and Takeda join the Quantum Leap project led by CQDM and Feldan Therapeutics, to improve a novel intracellular delivery technology

Philadelphia, June 4th, 2019 – CQDM is pleased to announce that following their recent enrollment in the consortium, Amgen and Takeda will be joining the syndicate of pharma companies to fund the Quantum Leap project recently launched by Feldan Therapeutics (Feldan). Amgen and Takeda will be contributing to this research project marking their first involvement in a CQDM-funded project since joining the consortium in 2018.

The funds totaling $1.2 M from the Quantum Leap project, will be used to optimize the Feldan Shuttle, Feldan’s novel intracellular delivery technology. The work will be done in collaboration with Dr Frédéric Calon from CHU du Québec – Université Laval, an expert in in vivo analysis of drug availability, toxicity and pharmacokinetics. This technology overcomes many of the barriers that in the past have precluded intracellular delivery of antibodies and peptides, thereby considering new avenues to target diseases with new treatment methods.

CQDM’s support for this project is made possible by the contribution of Feldan, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI) of the Government of Quebec, as well as funding of its industrial members: Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Janssen, and now Amgen and Takeda. This brings to five the number of leading pharmaceutical organizations funding this project, demonstrating the interest and potential value of Feldan’s technology. The pharma’s involvement also brings expertise through the mentorship program. In fact, this program allows the pharma organizations to nominate a senior scientist from their global organization to mentor the research team and ensure that the developed technology will address market and medical needs.

“We are delighted to support this project”, stated Philip Tagari, Amgen’s Vice President of Therapeutic Discovery. “Amgen’s biotechnology products originating from our Canadian laboratories could benefit significantly from Feldan’s novel drug delivery technologies, which is an example of the important innovation coming from Quebec’s Life Sciences sector”. “CQDM is a unique and very effective Government-Industry partnership consortium,” added Francesco Di Marco, Vice President and General Manager of Amgen Canada. “We are looking forward to continuing our interactions with CQDM in order to develop and access research and innovation for the benefit of patients everywhere”.

 “As one of Canada’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies, continuing our participation in CQDM and supporting initiatives like the Quantum Leap project underscores the importance of Takeda’s commitment to supporting a strong Life sciences sector in Quebec”, said Gamze Yüceland, General Manager of Takeda Canada. “Feldan’s innovative technologies are a remarkable example of how Government and industry collaboration not only strengthens the Quebec Life sciences sector but holds the promise to bring better health to patients”.

“Our team is proud that world-class leaders such as Amgen and Takeda chose to join us in our efforts to further characterize and enhance intracellular delivery using the Feldan Shuttle”, said François-Thomas Michaud, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Feldan. “We are convinced that the work and business opportunities that will arise from this consortium will further open doors to the use of our technology in the development of innovative treatments addressing unmet medical needs”.

“CQDM was very excited to welcome Amgen and Takeda recently among its pharmaceutical members. When joining our consortium, they gained privileged access to a wealth of innovative biopharmaceutical research projects. We are very pleased that they have identified a first project that fits their corporate focus. This demonstrates the value of CQDM’s collaborative innovation approach to develop better treatments for patients”, said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.

“Support for this project attests to the enormous potential of the technology developed by the Québec firm Feldan Therapeutics. The pharmaceuticals involved will contribute not only financing, but solid expertise in drug development through the CQDM’s mentoring program. There is no doubt that these partnerships will generate significant spin-offs. We hope to attract $4 billion in private investments by 2022 to ensure the long-term growth of our life sciences industry. This announcement is a perfect indication that we are on the right track,” Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, stated.


About CQDM
CQDM is a biopharma-based research consortium created in 2008 with the mission to fund the development of innovative technologies to accelerate the drug discovery and development. Its business model is based on a collaborative approach bringing together world-leading pharmaceutical organizations, Canadian biotech companies as well as the Canadian and Quebec governments who share the costs of the research. CQDM uses this leverage to reduce the risks inherent to early-stage biopharmaceutical research. In doing so, CQDM bridges the funding gap needed to drive innovation across the academic and private sectors, especially where early-stage research is concerned. Over the last 10 years, CQDM has benefited from the contribution of 13 industrial members: that includes Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca as founding members as well as Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly Canada, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Novartis Pharma Canada, Roche, Sanofi Canada, Servier, Takeda and now Amgen. CQDM also received contributions from Quebec’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI) and from the Government of Canada under the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (BL-NCE). Since 2008, CQDM has supported the development of 64 outstanding innovative technologies totaling $68 M in funding. These R&D projects carried out by 1,200 scientists from 69 different research institutions (38 public and 31 private) across Canada, have generated numerous economic benefits for all the stakeholders of the life science ecosystem.  For more information:

About Feldan Therapeutics Inc. 
Feldan is a biotechnology company that introduced the Feldan Shuttle, a peptide-based platform that allows the delivery of therapeutic proteins inside cells. This technology can be used both ex vivo and in vivo and has the potential to help treat many diseases by safely and efficiently targeting intracellular pathways inaccessible with existing treatments. Feldan is working on making intracellular delivery the future of medicine by developing novel therapeutic applications, as demonstrated by its current pipeline of clinical programs taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the Shuttle. For more information:

About Amgen
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science’s promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people’s lives. For more information:

About Takeda 
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Neuroscience and Rare Diseases. We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people's lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries and regions. For more information: