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AmorChem l.p. Invests in a Project for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

7/12/2013 9:29:34 AM

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Montreal, July 12, 2013 - AmorChem is proud to announce an investment in a project to validate a potential treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (“PAH”). This project is based on the work of Drs. David Chatenet and Alain Fournier (Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Centre INRS–Institut Armand Frappier, “INRS-IAF”) on the urotensinergic system where they have developed two unique classes of urotensin-II receptor (“UT”) modulators. This is the first investment of the AmorChem fund at the INRS-IAF and the tenth project to be added to its portfolio.

“We are very pleased to be supporting the promising work of a new, talented researcher” says Inès Holzbaur, general partner at AmorChem. “Dr. Chatenet has made some interesting discoveries that could be critical in order to evaluate the role of this target in pulmonary arterial hypertension and we are excited about the potential of this project.”

The molecules discovered in Dr. Chatenet’s lab will be validated and tested at the INRS-IAF in animal models of PAH. The disease is characterized by an increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. Ultimately, this constant high blood pressure in the lungs results in the remodelling of the heart, which itself can lead to heart failure. Up to an estimated 5,000 Canadians are diagnosed with PAH, and as many as 10,000 may be affected by the condition. Currently, the available drugs are far from optimum and there is a critical need for safer and more efficacious therapies. These limitations make the field of PAH very interesting to pharmaceutical companies.

“We are very enthusiastic about this partnership with Amorchem. Dr Chatenet is a young medicinal pharmacochemist and this partnership will finance cutting edge research leading to the treatment of cardiovascular disease” says Charles Dozois, director of INRS-IAF.

“This is a first transaction with the INRS-IAF and we look forward to working on many other opportunities with INRS-IAF in the future. It is very important for us at AmorChem to seek out the best projects available in each of the province’s research centres” says Elizabeth Douville, general partner at AmorChem.


AmorChem L.P. ( is a venture capital fund located in Montreal focused on investing in promising life science projects originating from Quebec-based universities and research centres. This fund is the latest addition to the GeneChem portfolio of funds, a fund manager in existence since 1997. AmorChem’s innovative business model involves financing research-stage projects to enable them to reach pre-clinical proof-of-concept (“POC”) in a semi-virtual mode within 18-24 months. The fund seeks to generate returns through a two-pronged exit strategy: sell projects having reached POC to large biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies; or bundle them into new spin-out companies. The projects will be managed by AmorChem using external resources. To that effect, AmorChem has established a strategic partnership with the Biotechnology Research Institute in order to access its R&D platforms. In addition, to enabling projects requiring small molecules as tools or drug leads, AmorChem has founded NuChem Therapeutics Inc., a medicinal chemistry contract-research company.


Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is a research-intensive university offering graduate-level training. It ranks first in Canada for research intensity (average grant funding per faculty member). INRS includes some 150 professors and nearly 700 students and postdoctoral fellows at four centres in Montreal, Québec City, Laval, and Varennes. The applied and fundamental research conducted at INRS is essential to the advancement of science in Québec and internationally, and plays a key role in the development of concrete solutions for the issues our society faces.

Media relations

Elizabeth Douville


Business Development Contact :

John Clement

514-849-6477 (office); 514-887-7696 (cell)

Inès Holzbaur


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