amorchem header logo close button Menu
arrow leftBack to news

Announcement of the Heavyweights for the 5th edition of KNOCK OUT 2019

Montreal, Canada, March 8, 2019 – Back by popular demand, AmorChem, the innovative Quebec-based seed venture capital fund, is hosting the 5th edition of its KNOCK OUT Event, a challenge where the Contenders, academic researchers selected by AmorChem, duke it out in the ring against a panel of Heavyweight champions in order to qualify for a $500,000 financing from AmorChem. This year’s KNOCK OUT will be held as part of the EFFERVESCENCE conference on April 24, 2019. Ready to challenge the Contenders with their best uppercuts, the Heavyweights are:

Dr Louise Proulx, Corporate Director
Dr Louise Proulx has held various functions in the pharma and biotech industry, most recently co-founder of Therillia Development Company and Venture Partner at Sanderling until the end of 2018. Louise was vice-president product development at BioChem Pharma and ViroChem Pharma when these two companies were acquired. Following the acquisition of ViroChem by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, she became site head of Vertex Canada. Louise is presently on the board of directors of Univalor, the Research Institute of the MUHC, Blue Cross Québec, CQDM and Catalis Québec.

Dr Cameron Black, Vice-President, Discovery, Repare Therapeutics Inc
Dr Cameron Black joined Repare Therapeutics in 2016 to build the drug discovery effort on newly identified cancer targets. Prior to this, he spent 18 years at Merck Frosst where he was responsible for the identification of seven drug candidates and led the development program for odanacatib, a once-weekly treatment for osteoporosis. He went on to co-found Kaneq Pharma in 2010 and Kanyr Pharma in 2013 to develop drugs targeting metabolic disease and cancer, respectively.

Dr Tara Nickerson, Chief Business Officer, Maze Therapeutics
Dr Tara Nickerson is CBO of Maze Therapeutics, a Third Rock Ventures-backed company transforming genetic insights into new therapies by targeting genetic modifiers. Tara was most recently CBO at Prothena Corporation (:PRTA) and was on the core team that formed Prothena as a public company via a spin-off from Elan Pharmaceuticals. Tara previously held Vice President roles in Business & Corporate Development at Neotope Biosciences and Elan Pharmaceuticals.

Brian Bloom, Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Burton & Co
Brian Bloom is a co-founder of Bloom Burton & Co. and serves as the firm’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. By forging unique relationships with international healthcare investors, Brian raises capital for Canadian healthcare companies while helping investors realize returns. Brian serves as the Chairman of the Board of Triumvira Immunologics and Appili Therapeutics, and on the Board of Directors of BIOTECanada, Satellos Bioscience and Qing Bile Therapeutics. Brian was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Grey Wolf Animal Health and a member of the Life Sciences Advisory Board at the National Research Council of Canada and the Board of the Baycrest Foundation.

The Contenders will be announced later in March. Mr. Christopher Hall, renowned radio and newspaper columnist and comedian, will return as Master of Ceremonies. Like any good boxing referee, he will buffer the blows (with water bottles at the ready!) and cheer on the Contenders.

Who will prevail in the ring? Find out at the EFFERVESCENCE ( on April 24. Register by March 15 to benefit from early-bird rates.

Our proud sponsors for this 5th edition of KNOCK OUT: Gold level: Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Merck & Co, Robic – Silver level: RBC.

EFFERVESCENCE ( is a major event in the life sciences and health technologies sector in Montreal, its first edition organized by a collective of 15 partners. It provides life sciences researchers, companies and stakeholders with a unique opportunity to network, build business relationships, participate in inspiring conferences, and discover the latest in the industry, everything in an experiential and stimulating environment @ Tohu, Montréal on April 24 and 25, 2019.

About AmorChem
AmorChem ( is an early-stage, venture capital fund located in Montreal focused on creating promising life science companies from technologies originating primarily from Quebec-based universities and research centres. Launched in 2011, the AmorChem fund model combines access to financial resources with a virtual incubator structure that enables the rapid development and commercialization of its technologies. The first fund ($41.2M) has built a portfolio of 24 technologies and successfully transacted two pharma exits as well as spun-out five companies. The attractiveness of this seed fund model and the role it plays in the investment ecosystem were highlighted in September 2017 with the launch of the AmorChem II Fund, which now totals $45.7M.