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Canadian model boosts industry support for drug development

The challenge:

CDRD’s unique drug development and commercialization platform headquartered in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building at UBC includes over 40,000 square feet of state-of-the-art custom-designed translational research infrastructure; staffed with over 100 highly-experienced drug developers and business professionals.

A dearth of venture capital is one of the greatest challenges facing the development and commercialization of novel health technologies coming out of Canada’s universities and research hospitals. A Vancouver-headquartered, nationally-mandated CECR has made great strides in just over five years to pre-validate and de-risk many of these academic discoveries-enhancing industry’s ability to invest. Now, some of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies are stepping up to help take these projects to the next stage.

How one CECR is making it happen:

With over 50 innovative health technologies now commercialized or advancing towards commercialization, The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and its commercialization vehicle CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI) are successfully attracting international private sector partners and investment. To date, seven Innovation Funds and/or strategic partnerships collectively worth over $40 million have been created primarily with private sector partners GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson to move discoveries through the pre-clinical stages.

"We have been able to achieve many significant milestones, one of the most important of which is leveraging government investment with a significant amount of private sector support. Our goal is to reach self-sustainability through such private sector partnerships and the generation of revenue from the commercialization of CDRD-nurtured technologies - such that only a small portion of our operations will ultimately be funded by the public sector."

Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, CDRD

What our industry partners are saying:

"Unique collaborations of this nature provide a highly effective way of progressing and commercializing the innovative health research conducted at Canadian public institutions – with the ultimate goal of making a real difference in the lives of patients."

Rav Kumar, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline

"Pfizer recognizes that to continue to develop groundbreaking new medicines, we need to access the best science globally. Over the past five years, CDRD has established itself as a major innovation hub in Canada, allowing global pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer to establish successful collaborations and partnerships with academia."

Bernard Prigent, Vice President and Medical Director, Pfizer Canada

"Roche Canada is committed to partnering to deliver innovative medicines, and to advance healthcare. We look forward to seeing the real-world benefits that will result from the important research being conducted by CDRD."

Ronnie Miller, President and CEO, Roche Canada