National Research Council of Canada supports development of 4 COVID-19 therapeutic candidates

News release

Investment of $9 million will help ensure Canadian innovators have the tools needed to develop treatments today and into the future

December 18, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada

The Government of Canada is aggressively pursuing the purchase and development of COVID-19 treatments and related supplies to protect Canadians and is working to strengthen Canada’s biomanufacturing sector. This includes engaging with Canadian scientists, businesses and manufacturers to build Canada’s capacity to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Today, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced it is providing advisory services and over $9 million in research and development funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support 4 therapeutic firms. These include:

  • Up to $289,032.00 to Bold Therapeutics (Vancouver, BC) for a project to prepare preclinical efficacy data in live SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), support preparation for clinical trials, and to support manufacturing of its BOLD-100 investigational therapy to treat patients with viral infections, including COVID-19.
  • Up to $4,609,000.00 to JN Nova Pharma (Montreal, Que) to assist in the development of a proprietary drug to block coronavirus infection, while reducing the impacts of the disease in patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms so they may recover faster.
  • Up to $4,166,796.00 to Laurent Pharmaceuticals (Montreal, Que) for the clinical development of their LAU-7b antiviral and inflammation controlling therapy for COVID-19 infections.
  • Up to $109,764.00 to Qu Biologics (Vancouver, BC) for a project to provide proof-of-concept evidence for the safety and efficacy of a preventative treatment as well as therapeutic use of a treatment to protect the lungs and prevent serious COVID-19 infection.

These investments will help produce safe and effective treatments for those who contract the COVID-19 virus, while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics. 


“As the world works towards an effective COVID-19 vaccine, we cannot lose sight of the importance of developing treatments to prevent a worsening of the disease for those stricken with the virus. Today’s announcement is part of our Government’s plan to invest in projects that will support Canada in the global race to find treatments for COVID-19 while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.”

- The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Through these strategic investments, we are ensuring we support Canadian industry in developing Canada’s capacity to produce therapeutics to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and for future pandemics. These therapeutic candidates will provide safe and effective treatments for those diagnosed with COVID-19.”

- Roger Scott-Douglas, PhD, Acting President, National Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The National Research Council of Canada's Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre is involved in research and development collaborations with JN Nova Pharma to co-develop a platform therapeutic approach to address complex cases of COVID-19; and Qu Biologics to assess their product's efficacy in reducing the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in animal models.
  • For over 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program has been stimulating economic growth in Canada by providing funding and advisory services to small and medium-sized businesses so they can grow, build their innovation capacity and successfully take their ideas to market. 

  • Through its network of over 255 industrial technology advisors located in over 110 locations across Canada, NRC IRAP provides customized solutions to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through financial assistance, expert advice, and access to national and international networks across all industry sectors.


Media Relations
National Research Council of Canada

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