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Pharmascience Inc. reiterates its support to the Montreal Heart Institute’s colchicine repurposing research studies in cardiovascular medicine and COVID-19

MONTREAL, Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) released earlier today two more research publications confirming the benefits of low dose (0,5mg daily) colchicine in preventing the risks of ischemic cardiovascular events in patients having undergone myocardial infarction (MI). These were sub-analyses of the landmark COLCOT I trial carried out last year by the MHI (Tardif, JC et al N Engl J Med 2019;381, 2497–2505).  They were aimed at determining the impacts of time-to-treatment on colchicine response post MI, and whether genetic markers hold the potential to identify patients likely to benefit from colchicine treatment. These results were presented during the 2020 session of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). 

Logo : Pharmascience Inc. (CNW Group/Pharmascience Inc.)

The first of these sub analyses was simultaneously published in the European Heart Journal (EHJ). It demonstrates that early initiation of low-dose colchicine within the first 3 days after MI significantly reduces the risk of ischemic CV events by 48% as compared to placebo on top of standard of care.  The second sub analysis found credible genetic associations with CV endpoints and gastrointestinal events in patients treated with colchicine in COLCOT.  Results support potential personalized approaches to inflammation reduction for cardiovascular prevention.

Pharmascience Inc. is proud of its continued collaboration with the MHI’s Research Center, which led in 2019 to the landmark COLCOT I trial. Results of another trial study (LoDoCo2) presented at the 2020 ESC meeting in patients with stable coronary artery disease further compliment those of COLCOT in the post-MI setting (LoDoCo2 – Nidorf, M. et al. Aug 31,2020).    These studies are indicative of major potential positive impacts on the cardiovascular outcomes of patients and public health in general.

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. Repurposing older, established drugs involves finding additional uses for drug products that are already approved. Pharmascience is also involved with the MHI in the ongoing COLCORONA trial assessing whether colchicine’s anti-inflammatory effects can reduce COVID-19 complications, slow disease progression and save patient lives.

“Pharmascience made the decision to support innovations in medical care such as COLCOT and COLCORONA, here in Canada. Our goal is to support therapeutic innovation and improve patient outcomes with new indications for trusted medicines that can be offered at an affordable cost,” said David Goodman, Ph.D., CEO of Pharmascience, “We believe these clinical research projects are a perfect fit with our desire to contribute to therapeutic advancements through responsible social 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 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.”


Founded in 1983, Pharmascience Inc. is the largest pharmaceutical employer in Quebec with 1,500 employees proudly headquartered in Montreal. Pharmascience Inc. is a privately owned pharmaceutical company with strong roots in Canada and a growing global reach with product distribution in over 60 countries. Ranked 47th among Canada’s top 100 Research & Development (R&D) investors with over $49,5 million invested in 2019, 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 2020, Pharmascience Inc. was recognized for its investments by being selected as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People and named one of Montreal’s best employers, as part of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers listing. Also, in 2020, the prestigious Forbes magazine ranked Pharmascience Inc. among its list of top 300 employers.

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SOURCE Pharmascience Inc.

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