Merck Canada Inc. is investing $12.5-million to fund research at three Quebec university-affiliated and hospital-based research centre as part of its commitment to research and development in Quebec.
The investment will go to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, the CHUM Research Centre and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre.
This latest round of research funding brings total Merck Canada investments so far in the province to about $60-million, the company said Monday.
Merck Canada pledged two years ago to pump $100-million into pharma research and development in Quebec over a five-year period.
It's part of a new approach to R&D activities by the global life sciences industry.
Faced with rising costs for fewer blockbuster drugs, companies are shifting R&D funding away from in-house activities to new centres for collaborative research among academics, government and industry, as well as investing in funds for small, innovative firms involved in early-stage drug development work.
Merck Canada's $100-million promise was made after it shut down its R&D centre in Montreal.
Merck Canada president and managing director Cyril Schiever said at a news conference Monday that the decision to make the five-year investment was not related to the closure.