MONTREAL, November 16, 2019 – The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) announced earlier today the results of its COLchicine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (COLCOT). This landmark study compared the effect of colchicine in the prevention of ischemic cardiovascular events in patients with a recent myocardial infarction (MI) receiving the standard of care. In this trial, patients administered colchicine 0.5mg daily in addition to standard of care experienced a lower rate of first and recurrent ischemic cardiovascular events compared to patients receiving standard of care alone. These data were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and were presented today at an American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Session.
Pharmascience Inc. is proud to have contributed to this innovative clinical trial, whose results could have major positive impacts on the cardiovascular outcomes of patients and public health in general. Inflammation has been shown to play a major role in cardiovascular disease and the COLCOT results represent a very significant advancement in linking the reduction of post myocardial infarction inflammation to improved cardiovascular outcomes.
An important aspect of the COLCOT trial is that it allows for the repurposing of colchicine, a medicine that has been used for decades in the treatment of gout or familial Mediterranean fever. Repurposing older, established drugs involves finding additional uses for drug products already approved.
“Pharmascience made the decision to support innovations in medical care such as COLCOT, here in Canada. Our goal is to support therapeutic innovation and improve patient outcomes with a new indication for an old, trusted medicine that can be offered at an affordable cost,” said David Goodman, Ph.D., CEO of Pharmascience, “We believe these projects are a perfect fit with our desire to contribute to therapeutic advancements through responsible entrepreneurship.”
The clinical use of colchicine is supported by a well-known safety profile, and is available at a very affordable cost as compared to some newer cardiovascular medicines used in similar indications. Repurposed generic drugs provide attractive, cost-effective options for public and private drug reimbursement programs in their constant struggle with affordability challenges when it comes to new drugs.
“Unfortunately, few pharmaceutical manufacturers venture down this road because of inherent commercial barriers,” added Dr. Goodman, “There are no guarantees that the additional R&D investments required by drug repurposing will be recovered, because of the lack of intellectual property protection usually encountered with generic medicines. Pharmascience is willing to take this risk for the greater good. However, we will need the assistance of regulators and drug program managers to implement approval and reimbursement frameworks that do not discourage drug repurposing and rather, reward innovation.”
ABOUT PHARMASCIENCE INC.
Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec with 1,500 employees proudly headquartered in Montreal. Pharmascience Inc. is a full-service privately owned pharmaceutical company with strong roots in Canada and a growing global reach with product distribution in over 60 countries. Ranked 56th among Canada’s top 100 Research & Development (R&D) investors with over $43 million invested in 2018, Pharmascience Inc. is the 4th largest manufacturer of generic drugs in the country.
Pharmascience Inc. has strong values based on the importance of investing in its employees and young people. Through various programs and initiatives, the company ensures it supports their personal development and life. In 2019, Pharmascience Inc. has proudly been recognized for its investments by being selected as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People and named as one of Montreal’s best employers, as part of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. In 2018, the prestigious Forbes magazine ranked Pharmascience Inc. among its list of top 300 employers.