We are commited to build a robust IBD and GI-focused pipeline

Giiant Pharma inc. is a Montreal-based company founded by former Merck Frosst scientists. Combining experts in the field of gastroenterology and more than 25 years of experience in the field of industrial pharmaceutical research, Giiant Pharma aims at developing safer therapies for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

The expertise of our team leaders ranges from early drug discovery to late development and has translated to numerous market approvals.

Our Mission

Improve on IBD drug safety/tolerability

The Unconscious Patient (Sense of Smell) – around 1624-25, Rembrandt van Rijn.

Originally labelled as the work of an unknown artist of the 19th century from Europe’s Continental School, this painting went to auction at a presale estimate of $500-$800 US. But someone in the audience, the French art dealer Bertrand Gautier, knew exactly who had painted the small oil-on-panel: Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. Unfortunately for Gautier and his partner Bertrand Talabardon, another dealer had the same hunch. In a few minutes of phone bidding, the price shot up, and in the end the Paris gallery owners paid just over $1 million US.

It was painted when Rembrandt was just 18 or 19, at the start of his career,  more or less the first picture he ever painted. It is part of Rembrandt’s series depicting the five senses. Three of the “sense” paintings were already known, and with the rediscovery of the sense of smell, only “taste” is missing.

The picture shows a woman holding a handkerchief, presumably containing smelling salts, under the nose of a young man who has fainted after a surgeon has performed a blood-letting. This was one of the most commun medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century. Although sometimes beneficial in temporarily reducing blood pressure, it was mostly harmful to patients as pictured by Rembrandt. 

Primum Non Nocere

First, do no harm

Non-malificence is a precept of bioethics. It is a significant healthcare consideration where it may be better not to do something than to risk causing more harm than good. Its origin could be find in the Epidemics of the Hippocratic Corpus stating that “The physician must have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm” .

In the development of a new therapy, we believe that this concept need to be embedded in the discovery platform to have, latter on, an impact on patients’ quality of life. Facing unmet medical need, we naturally set efficacy as the highest ranking element in a decision tree. No one would take a treatment that does not promise better days or prevents worsening of the medical condition. But risk-benefit assessment of a new therapy is patient dependent and sometimes cannot be closely monitored outside of the well controlled environment of a clinical trial. This is why the concept of “do no harm”, which Giiant has extended to the notion of “drug forgiveness”, needs to be addressed at the pre-clinical stage.  

A "forgiving drug" certainly implies a large therapeutic index, but with the particularity that loosing efficacy should be just as hard as reaching a noxious dose. 

With this aim of bringing “forgiving drug” therapies for the treatment of IBD, Giiant Pharma has developed a gut-specific delivery platform. By targeting one single organ, improved tolerability arises from the lack of systemic exposure while sustained efficacy is ensured by the higher drug concentration at the site of action. 

Management Team


Maxime Ranger, PhD, MBA

Chief executive officer

Bernard Côté, PhD

founder, Special Advisor

Véronique Bérubé, LL.B.

Head of operations & strategy

Patrick Colin, BPharm, PhD

Chief clinical officer

Elizabeth Kwong, PhD

Founder, Chief development officer