• The Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19) is the largest biobank dedicated to COVID-19 in Canada, including more than 28,000 samples from 3,674 participants affected by the mild or severe form of the disease;

  • The aim of the study is to better understand the causes and consequences of COVID-19 to establish personalized approaches in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its complications;

  • The study will include biochemical analysis coupled with a wide range of other molecular data, to assist in the creation of new approaches to diagnosis and monitoring of the disease;

  • The data will be made available to the scientific community for research on COVID-19;

  • This is a multi-institutional initiative, funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), Génome Québec and the Public Health Agency of Canada;

  • The study partners are the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec - Université Laval (IUCPQ-ULaval), BQC19, Roche Diagnostics and CIRION BioPharma Research Inc. (CIRION).

LAVAL, QC, Dec. 9, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - A novel approach to the study of the causes and long-term consequences of COVID-19 will be launched in Quebec thanks to a new partnership between thetheand Roche Diagnostics, division of Hoffmann-La Roche Limited. Their joint objective is to develop tools to better personalize approaches that would predict complications of the disease, improve treatment, and reduce the duration of hospitalization and deaths, especially in people suffering from chronic illness. The study would not be possible without the participation of patients who willingly agreed to share their blood samples.

Contributing to this unprecedented effort, Roche Diagnostics will provide reagents for the biomarker analysis, which will be conducted on 5,000 BQC19 blood samples by researchers at IUCPQ-ULaval and CIRION.

"This Quebec study is very important, and we are honoured to be a part of it. We will analyze a large panel of more than 30 blood biomarkers specific to inflammation, coagulation, fatigue, lipid profiles and cardiovascular damage within the 5,000 samples collected by the BQC19," says Dr. Philippe Pibarot, principal investigator of the study and Director of Cardiology Research at IUCPQ-ULaval. "The full clinical spectrum of COVID-19 will be represented, including inpatients and outpatients infected with COVID-19, recovered patients who have been previously hospitalized for COVID-19 and control subjects not infected with COVID-19."

To reach the study's objective, researchers accessing this data will examine the risk stratification, triage and therapeutic management of patients with COVID-19, creating a table that will compare the main clinical risk factors with the most relevant blood biomarkers. By doing so, researchers look to be able to better predict the risk of severe COVID-19, as well as the sequelae of the disease.

"A pioneer in this space, the Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19) was set up at the request of health authorities in March 2020 and recruited its first patient a month later, at the very beginning of the first wave," underlines Dr. Vincent Mooser, Director of the BQC19. "Research is essential to better understand the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its determinants, to identify those at risk and to take appropriate steps to protect them, as well as to help governments not only in Canada but around the world take action to control the spread of infection."

"At Roche Diagnostics, we are proud to support this unique effort," said Michele D'Elia, Executive Director, Medical and Scientific Affairs with the diagnostics company. "The results obtained by analysing this new data will help develop new solutions adapted to the specific needs of patients, not only for COVID-19, but for many other chronic diseases. This is a priority for our company, as a leader in diagnostics in Canada."

"CIRION BioPharma Research is pleased to join this partnership and collaborate in the search for new knowledge to prevent and treat this infection," says Dr. Lise Dallaire, Executive Vice-President at CIRION. "Since the start of the pandemic, CIRION has been a leader in Quebec in supporting clinical research with laboratory analysis for SARS-COV-2 and antibodies in subjects, as well as the evaluation of the cellular and humoral immune response induced by various SARS-CoV-2 vaccines."

The data access procedure as well as the type of data and samples currently available are outlined on the BQC19 websiteCurrently, the available clinical data is associated with more than 3,600 BQC19 participants who tested positive or negative (controls) for SARS-CoV-2. Participants were recruited from two resources, either having been hospitalized or having been seen in an outpatient clinic. BQC19 can currently share genomic sequencing, proteomic analysis, and RNA sequencing data on a portion of these participants. Access will be extended to additional analytical data as it becomes available.

Affiliated with Université Laval, the Institut relies on the collaboration and dedication of 3,500 employees, physicians, professionals, researchers, managers and volunteers to provide quality care and services to hospitalized and ambulatory clients. The IUCPQ-ULaval notably offers specialized and ultra-specialized care and services programs for the treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and diseases related to obesity. The physicians and health professionals of IUCPQ-ULaval have extensive expertise and help advance the science of medicine. The IUCPQ-ULaval also has the mission of evaluating technologies and intervention methods in health. The IUCPQ-ULaval Research Center is internationally recognized for the quality of its research:

The Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19) is a pan-provincial initiative that collects, stores and shares data and blood samples from COVID-19 patients, both severe and non-severe cases, in an effort to respond effectively to the public health challenges posed by the pandemic. Supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), Génome Québec and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the BQC19 collects a growing number of samples in 10 locations across Quebec. Its ultimate goal is to contribute to the global efforts to better understand the evolution and determinants of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

CIRION is a knowledge-based GLP-certified contract research laboratory specializing in large molecule bioanalysis and global central laboratory services. CIRION provides immunogenicity, cell-based and biomarker assays to biopharmaceutical organizations worldwide to support the development of biologics and biosimilars. This includes assay development and validation, and sample analysis (GLP and non-GLP) for all phases of drug development. For more information, visit

As a leading healthcare company, we are committed to minimizing the impact of COVID-19 and help save and improve lives. Roche's fight against the pandemic includes:

Launching COVID-19 diagnostic tests for active infection and the detection of antibodies in patients who have been exposed to the virus;

Investigating treatments from our existing portfolio to better understand their potential to treat patients with COVID-19;

Increasing manufacturing and supply chain capacity to meet product demand across our portfolio within the wider context of COVID-19 treatment;

Ensuring the supply of our existing medicines and diagnostics to patients under exceptional conditions.

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in data-driven medical insights, help Roche deliver truly personalized healthcare. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Roche Canada was founded in 1931 and employs more than 1,800 people across the country through its Pharmaceuticals division in Mississauga, Ontario as well as its Diagnostics and Diabetes Care divisions in Laval, Quebec.

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