The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) Earns New Federal Support in Budget 2016 – Applauds Government for Renewed Focus on Canadian Innovation

Vancouver, Canada – March 24, 2016: The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) congratulates the Government of Canada on the tabling of Budget 2016 which includes a number of strategic investments to support Canada’s innovation ecosystem, including up to $32 million in new funding to CDRD in order to translate and advance more technologies towards commercialization.

In this highly-competitive global economy, it is crucial that Canada’s science, technology and innovation system is well-supported and aligned across public and private sector investments, public policy, and strategic collaboration. To this end, Budget 2016 includes a number of initial measures such as investments in research granting councils, Genome Canada, the Stem Cell Network, and the Brain Canada Foundation, along with $2 billion for a new Post-Secondary Strategic Investment Fund and $800 million to support innovation networks and clusters. Moreover, it declares Government’s commitment “to build Canada as a centre of global innovation” and lays a strong foundation for the development of a full Innovation Agenda and enhanced support for Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs to follow in 2017.

For CDRD, the new federal funding will further bolster its ability to maximize the return from publicly-funded research by de-risking, advancing, and adding value to novel technologies to make them investable by the private sector; while also helping early-stage companies stay and grow here in Canada – and ultimately, bringing new life-changing therapies to patients.

Karimah Es Sabar, CDRD President and CEO commented, “On behalf of the team at CDRD as well as our extended network of partners right across Canada, I want to express our sincere appreciation for Government’s strong commitment to not only our organization, but to the national research and innovation sector broadly. It is important that Canada be not only the generator of world-class health research it is today, but also a world -class generator of innovation and commercialization – an imperative clearly recognized and supported by the Government of Canada.”

Headquartered in British Columbia, CDRD is the only national drug development and commercialization engine providing the expertise and infrastructure to transform basic health research in our academic institutions, as well as early-stage therapeutic technologies in Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), into commercialized products improving human health. In doing so, CDRD is actively growing our national health sciences industry into a wholly-optimized generator of economic prosperity for the country.

As noted in the Budget: “To date, CDRD has advanced the commercialization of promising new therapies, secured commitments from leading pharmaceutical firms, attracted foreign investments to Canada, and affirmed its leadership on the global stage by championing the creation of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres.” All told, CDRD has incubated 209 early-stage technologies, successfully advancing 56, and completing 14 commercial transactions, including the launch of 7 new spin-off companies that have raised in excess of $60M in seed funding. CDRD has also supported an additional 26 existing Canadian health sciences companies (SMEs) by providing over 9,000 hours in access to CDRD’s scientific and commercial expertise and infrastructure.

Es Sabar concluded, “As getting new drugs and other therapeutic products to market becomes more and more difficult, and the associated costs and risks become increasingly greater, the various players (from academic institutions and granting agencies to translational research organizations, incubators, and accelerators to foundations, government and industry) must work in partnership and support one another in effectively de-risking new technologies, leveraging resources, and filling the gaps in the development continuum. I would like to personally thank each of CDRD’s 75+ partners across all of these types of organizations for doing just that, and for enabling all of CDRD’s success to date.“

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About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
Headquartered in Vancouver, The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization engine. We work in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations, and provide the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify and de-risk promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector – and ultimately into innovative new therapies for patients. In doing so, CDRD is actively growing our national health sciences industry into a wholly-optimized generator of economic prosperity for the country. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).


Julia White, Communications Manager
Tel: 604-827-1226