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Centre for Drug Research and Development

$23 million for 2008-18
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Centre for Drug Research and Development

Vancouver, British Columbia

President and CEO
Gordon C. McCauley Gordon C. McCauley

Board chair
Don Avison Don Avison
Former President, University Presidents’ Council of BC

Canadian model speeds development of new drugs

Developing new drugs is a long, complex and expensive process. In Canada, one of the greatest challenges facing the development and commercialization of novel health technologies coming out of Canada’s universities and research hospitals is a dearth of venture capital. A Vancouver-headquartered, nationally-mandated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) has made great strides in pre-validating and de-risking many of these publicly funded discoveries to create viable investment opportunities for the private sector. This innovative model is accelerating the commercialization of medical innovations that will improve health care delivery and patient care in Canada and abroad.

Among the results

  • CDRD has evaluated more than 1,400 technologies for their commercial and therapeutic potential. Of those, 269 were incubated within CDRD and 58 were successfully advanced towards commercialization, generating 72 patents.
  • CDRD has spun-off seven new companies, including Zucara Therapeutics, which is developing a novel technology to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes, and Sitka Biopharma Inc., which is improving chemotherapy drug absorption with its patented polymeric nanoparticle platform technology.
  • CDRD spin-off company Kairos Therapeutics merged with Zymeworks Inc., creating one of the industry’s leading biotherapeutics companies that is developing antibody drug conjugates for improved oncology treatments.
  • CDRD expanded its global industry partnership portfolio with the addition of AstraZeneca. The agreement provides unique resources that will allow CDRD to provide validation and screening for novel drug targets.

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