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  1. La compagnie de Toronto qui exploite au Québec la bannière Pharmaprix met la main sur une entreprise de services pharmaceutiques spécialisés. Pour en lire plus...
  2. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) WOW I am happy I don`t live on St Pierre anymore. This city has gone to the dogs. I guess its time to really go out and buy a bulletproof vest and armour up my car.
  3. Montreal team makes HIV discovery Virus gets help from a cell protein. Finding is expected to help development of new class of drugs to combat the disease CHARLIE FIDELMAN, The Gazette Published: Saturday, July 14 Montreal researchers have identified a novel target that's an accomplice to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The virus doesn't work alone, but recruits a collaborator - a cell protein - in its mission to multiply and spread through the body, explained Eric Cohen, a professor of medicine at the UniversitE de MontrEal. Cohen and his team of researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de MontrEal yesterday published the findings in PLoS Pathogens, a peer- reviewed journal that is issued monthly by the Public Library of Science. Email to a friendPrinter friendly Font: * * * * Despite having transformed HIV/AIDS from a fatal disease to to a chronic one, scientists are still at a loss to explain how the human immunodeficiency virus causes illness and why it persists despite highly effective anti-retroviral drug therapy. The discovery by Cohen's team is expected to open the door to the development of a new class of drugs to combat the disease, Canada's top HIV experts stated yesterday. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) leads to AIDS by depleting essential immune cells called CD4+T lymphocytes in infected individuals. Key to this process is a small HIV protein, said Cohen, who identified the viral protein R (Vpr) a decade ago while at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge. Mass.. "The role of this protein, called E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, is likely to control the orderly division of cells," Cohen said. HIV uses this protein to weaken infected immune cells. The cells then stop dividing and die, he explained. Also, the protein helps sabotage immune cells so the virus can harness their resources for its own purposes - that is, to replicate and spread the infection. "The virus is creating an environment inside the cells where it can multiply better. Ultimately, the cells will die," said Cohen, who holds the Canada Research Chair in human retrovirology at the U de M. Although proud of his work and of the team effort in his laboratory, Cohen cautioned that new therapies will not be available for years to come. "As with all basic fundamental discoveries, it will not lead to new types of (drugs) for six or seven years," he said. But it's a very important finding, said Rafick-Pierre SEkaly, a U de M immunologist and AIDS expert who was not involved in this discovery. "We are always looking for new ways to neutralize the virus, so finding a new target is very appealing," SEkaly said. Cohen's work explains how the virus corrupts immune cells, said virologist Mark Wainberg, director of the McGill AIDS Centre at the Jewish General Hospital. Wainberg described Cohen's finding as "exactly the kind of discovery that will excite drug companies." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  4. Pfizer buying rival drug firm Wyeth for $68B US Unclear how purchase would affect Pfizer facilities in Calgary, Kirkland, Que., Mississauga, Ont. Last Updated: Monday, January 26, 2009 | 11:59 AM ET Comments16Recommend12 The Associated Press Pfizer Inc. is buying rival drug-maker Wyeth in a $68-billion US cash-and-stock deal that will increase its revenue by 50 per cent, solidify its No. 1 rank in the troubled industry and transform it from a pure pharmaceutical company into a broadly diversified health-care giant. At the same time, Pfizer announced cost cuts that include slashing more than 8,000 jobs as it prepares for expected revenue declines when cholesterol drug Lipitor — the world's top-selling medicine — loses patent protection in 2011. The deal announced Monday comes as Pfizer's profit takes a brutal hit from a $2.3- billion legal settlement over allegations it marketed certain products for indications that have not been approved. The New York-based company is also cutting 10 per cent of its workforce of 83,400, slashing its dividend, and reducing the number of manufacturing plants. Canadian impact unknown A spokeswoman for Pfizer Canada Inc. said it was unclear how the round of job cuts would affect the company's domestic operations, which employ more than 1,400 workers at facilities in Calgary, Kirkland, Que., and Mississauga, Ont. "At this time we really aren't aware of any impact on the Canadian organization related to the layoffs that were announced," said Rhonda O'Gallagher in an interview. She suggested that any possible job cuts to the Canadian operations wouldn't be announced for a few weeks or possibly months. Early Monday, Pfizer, the maker of Lipitor and impotence pill Viagra, said it will pay $50.19 US per share under for Wyeth, valuing Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth at a 14.7 per cent premium to the company's closing price of $43.74 Friday. Both companies' boards of directors approved the deal but Wyeth shareholders must do so, antitrust regulators must review the deal and a consortium of banks lending the companies $22.5 billion must complete the financing. Pfizer has been under pressure from Wall Street to make a bold move as it faces what is referred to as a patent cliff in the coming years. As key drugs lose patent protection, they will face generic competition and declining sales. Lipitor is expected to face generic competition starting in November 2011. It brings in nearly $13 billion per year for the company. Diversifying revenues Acquiring Wyeth helps Pfizer diversify and become less-dependent on individual drugs — Lipitor now provides about one-fourth of all Pfizer revenue — while adding strength in biotech drugs, vaccines and consumer products. Wyeth makes the world's top-selling vaccines, Prevnar for meningitis and pneumococcal disease, and co-markets with Amgen Inc. the world's No. 1 biotech drug, Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis. "The combination of Pfizer and Wyeth provides a powerful opportunity to transform our industry," Pfizer chair and CEO Jeffery Kindler said in a statement. "It will produce the world's premier biopharmaceutical company whose distinct blend of diversification, flexibility, and scale positions it for success in a dynamic global health care environment." Together, the two companies will have 17 different products with annual sales of $1 billion or more, including top antidepressant Effexor, Lyrica for fibromyalgia and nerve pain, Detrol for overactive bladder and blood pressure drug Norvasc. Shortly after announcing the Wyeth deal, Pfizer said fourth-quarter profit plunged on a charge to settle investigations into off-label marketing practices. The company earned $268 million, or four cents a share, compared to profit of $2.72 billion, or 40 cents per share, a year before. Revenue fell four per cent to $12.35 billion from $12.87 billion. Excluding about $2.3 billion in legal charges, the company says profit rose to 65 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 59 cents per share on revenue of $12.54 billion. Looking ahead, New York-based Pfizer expects earnings per share between $1.85 and $1.95 in 2009, below forecasts for $2.49.
  5. Cleaned up? Not so much One-Quarter of Montrealers see problem behaviour in their neighbourhoods The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution. CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, The Gazette Published: 20 hours ago Montreal has been known as "sin city" for the better part of a century, ever since Americans started coming here to drink freely during the Prohibition era. A new survey suggests little has changed since. Researchers at Statistics Canada asked people living in big cities how often they witnessed incidences of social and physical incivility - that is, drunkenness, drug use, prostitution, vandalism, littering and the like. Montreal ranked second in almost every category. Twenty-four per cent of Mont-realers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent specifically mentioned drug use and five per cent mentioned prostitution. The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution.View Halifax and Vancouver were the only cities to report higher rates of social incivility, at 25 and 26 per cent respectively. They were also the only cities to report higher rates of drug use at 19 and 17 per cent respectively. As for prostitution, only Vancouver had a higher rate, with eight per cent of residents describing it as a problem. People in 12 cities participated in the survey, the results of which came as no surprise to people downtown yesterday. Guillaume Fontaine, 27, works at a club near the corner of Ste. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd. He said he sees drug users hanging around all the time. "Right in front of us across the street, in this area outside the doors there, they sit down and smoke their crack." It's a routine they seem to have been allowed to slip into. Fontaine said he sees drug users "on an everyday basis" ever since he took a job in the area two years ago. Others who work near the city's most notorious corner had similar complaints. "You can see the prostitutes and drug dealers working all the time, even early in the morning," said Hélène Dumont, 49. Montreal executive committee member Marcel Tremblay said police have behaviour like drug use, prostitution and vandalism under control and residents need not worry about the survey's results. Tremblay said Montreal's rates of drug use, public drunkenness, vandalism or prostitution may be high for Canada, but aren't through the roof by any means. "If you go all over North America, or all over the world, you'll have exactly the same thing." And Tremblay was quick to point out that Montreal does quite well in preventing violent crimes. "Have you seen the figures on security? We're (among the cities) with the least killings in Canada. We're able to go out 24 hours a day," he said. But implementing community policing initiatives is just a part of what needs to be done to keep pushers, pimps and vandals off the streets, said Irvin Waller, director of the University of Ottawa's Institute for the Prevention of Crime. "The solution ... is some combination of law enforcement and social services that tackle the roots of the problems," he said. "These social problems have been made a lot worse because of the large cutbacks in housing and mental hospitals in Canada in the 1990s. Montreal had a particularly bad time of that." Most people on the street yesterday agreed with Waller, saying Montreal needs better social outreach programs rather than more police officers. "It's obvious some of the people hanging around here are high, just look at them. But I think that's just the way it is in a big city," said Karima Lachal, 32, gesturing toward the UQÀM-Berri métro station. Just then, a short, thin man with greasy, matted hair and a few days' stubble staggered over to ask if she had any change. Lachal politely brushed him off. "There's a living example of what I'm talking about," she said. "Anyway, I think the police are doing their job, it's just that these people need more help on a social level." [email protected] © The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
  6. (Courtesy of CTV Montreal) How about they change the damn laws about drunk driving! You kill someone you spend the rest of your life in prison. If you injure someone while you driving drunk you lose your car and license for life. If you are caught again (seeing you loss your license), you go to prison for life, but NO Quebec has to be a forgiving province, bloody BS!
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  8. Le bénéfice du groupe qui détient la bannière Pharmaprix au Québec a atteint 128,3 M$ en augmentation sur les 112,2 M$ pour le deuxième trimestre, il y a un an. Pour en lire plus...
  9. Consortium a welcome booster shot for pharmaceutical research PETER HADEKEL, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago Up to $48 million over four years could be pumped into drug discovery in Quebec under an innovative new consortium that links governments, pharmaceutical companies and universities. The Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery, announced last week by Economic Development Minster Raymond Bachand, could be a welcome shot in the arm for the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors in Montreal. The industry has a significant presence in Quebec, with 145 companies, nearly 21,000 jobs, and five centres for basic pharmaceutical research. About $550 million in new investments have been announced since 2006. But like the rest of the industry worldwide, the biopharmaceutical companies operating here have been struggling to find and develop the next generation of blockbuster drugs to treat more complex medical conditions. The easy discoveries have been made. For example, it's a lot easier to develop a product to lower blood pressure than one that enhances memory in an Alzheimer's patient. Meanwhile, regulatory requirements are rising amid public concern over drug safety and efficacy. And the cost and time it takes to develop a new drug and bring it to market continue to increase. Bachand hopes to create some new momentum and capitalize on the research strengths already here. The plan is to create a public-private partnership that will foster research at the pre-competitive stage. Private sector participants are AstraZeneca, Merck Frosst and Pfizer Canada, with each expected to kick in $5 million over five years. University players include McGill, the Université de Montréal, Université Laval and the Université de Sherbrooke. Government funding will come from Quebec's Ministry of Economic Development and its Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec. The federal government has been asked to chip in through its Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Small biotech companies can also participate by applying for funding from the consortium for their own research projects. The initial amount of money may seem small, but the goal is to build new links between the players in Quebec, the consortium's director, Max Fehlmann, said in an interview. The emphasis will be on finding drug-discovery technologies that can benefit the entire industry rather than on finding new molecules per se, he said. The idea is to make that intellectual property available to other investors in the program, who would pay a licensing fee to the discoverer to access the findings. Quebec's program is modeled on similar ventures in Europe and the U.S. The difference, said Fehlmann, is those programs are government-run while this one will be steered by consortium members themselves. The drug venture is also inspired by a similar program in the province's aerospace sector. The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec funds pre-competitive research and licenses the findings to its various industrial partners. Philippe Walker, vice-president of research at AstraZeneca Canada, says "the idea is to develop a kind of neutral, fertile ground where ideas could be exchanged." ne example, he says, could be to find new brain imaging techniques that would help to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and evaluate at an early stage whether new drugs are having an effect on the patient. "This could tap into the historical strengths of various groups in Montreal who have developed imaging technology. "There are a lot of good things happening in Quebec," Walker added. One reason AstraZeneca invested in its Montreal research facility was to be close to academic scientists working here in the pain research field. Collaboration is considered a key to creativity in drug science, because new discovery often comes at the intersection between two disciplines. "It's extremely difficult and complex to develop a new drug," Walker said. "The pharma industry in general, not only in Quebec, is suffering from a reduction in productivity if it's measured by the number of new (products) that are put on the market." On average, the drug industry spends between $800 million and $1.7 billion (over a 12-to-15 year period of research and development) to bring a new product to commercialization, U.S. data show. The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. backed its collaboration initiative, known as Critical Path, in the hope that it would help to cut delays and costs. And backers of the venture in Quebec are betting it can lead to the same kinds of gains. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=d2f98b6b-95bf-4681-9ac3-2de68e832fe2&p=1
  10. L'action grimpait en après-midi après l'acceptation de sa réponse sur le tramadol à dose unique quotidienne par la Food and Drug Administration aux États-Unis. Pour en lire plus...
  11. Les ventes de la chaîne de pharmacies ont grimpé de 9,8% au troisième trimestre pour atteindre 2,8 G$, ce qui a permis à la société de déclarer un bénéfice net de 162,5 M$. Pour en lire plus...
  12. La chaîne Pharmaprix prévoit poursuivre sa croissance au Québec Il y a 1 jour TORONTO — La plus importante chaîne de pharmacies au Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart (TSX:SC), estime être en mesure de prendre encore plus de place au Québec - où elle exploite la bannière Pharmaprix -, ainsi que dans l'Ouest et en Ontario, a déclaré jeudi le chef de la direction de l'entreprise, Jurgen Schreiber, lors de l'assemblée générale annuelle des actionnaires. Il y a un an, l'entreprise torontoise venait d'inaugurer son 1000e établissement. Elle en compte maintenant 1095, dont 551 en Ontario, mais l'essentiel de cette croissance a été générée au Québec. "A la fin de 2006, nous avions 102 magasins au Québec. Nous en avons maintenant 140. C'est un changement important", a dit Jurgen Schreiber. Le Québec est un marché en pleine croissance pour Shoppers, mais la compagnie doit composer avec la concurrence féroce du Groupe Jean Coutu (TSX:PJC), qui compte 330 établissements au Québec, en Ontario et au Nouveau-Brunswick, et qui contrôle près du tiers de l'importante chaîne américaine Rite Aid. Ailleurs au pays, Shoppers lutte contre le groupe Katz, qui détient 1800 pharmacies au Canada et aux Etats-Unis. Si Katz compte plus d'établissements que Shoppers, il embauche trois fois moins d'employés (15 000 contre 47 000) et génère environ 1 milliard $ de moins en revenus annuels. M. Schreiber a ajouté que le Québec représente un marché de plus en plus lucratif pour Shoppers Drug Mart, puisqu'il s'agit "de la deuxième province en importance (au chapitre de la population) et que les marchés de la santé et des prescriptions y sont très développés". C'est pour cela, dit-il, que son entreprise accorde autant d'importance à la Belle Province. En Ontario, la province la plus peuplée du pays, on retrouve un établissement de Shoppers par 25 000 habitants. M. Schreiber croit que sa compagnie peut faire encore mieux et augmenter sa pénétration grâce à la popularité de son nom. Au Québec, le ratio est d'environ un établissement par 60 000 personnes, contre un par 35 000 personnes dans l'Ouest. "Nous avons encore devant nous au moins cinq années d'ouvertures de nouveaux magasins, de rénovations de magasins et d'agrandissements de magasins", a-t-il lancé aux actionnaires. La semaine dernière, Shoppers Drug Mart a dévoilé un bénéfice de 101 millions $ au premier trimestre, en progression de 19 pour cent par rapport aux 85 millions $ engrangés un an plus tôt. Ses ventes pendant cette période ont été de 2 milliards $, contre 1,8 milliard $ l'année précédente. Jeudi après-midi, le titre de Shoppers valait 54,46 $, en hausse de 13 cents, à la Bourse de Toronto.
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