Founded in 2007, the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is a non-profit organization that combines an academic infrastructure and a commercialization arm in a hybrid structure. The aim of the CDRD is to develop the commercial potential of promising new drug discoveries from health science investigators. It advances early stage health-related discoveries through the core activities of drug target identification, drug screening, drug design and synthesis (medicinal chemistry), drug formulation and delivery and drug evaluation (in vivo efficacy and toxicity). CDRD will initially concentrate its expertise in three therapeutic areas: cancer, infectious disease and neurological disorders.
CDRD is funded by the Federal and Provincial government and other funding partners who believe more needs to be done to help British Columbia’s scientists realize the therapeutic potential of their discoveries. This model allows over 250 researchers from all life science research institutions in British Columbia to collaborate and access state-of-the-art equipment, mentorship in the drug development process and potential help in commercializing discoveries. There is no cost to researchers to become part of the CDRD.
Funding from the Canadian federal government has included a Canada Foundation for Innovation CFI Website award for $8 Million to support the creation of infrastructure, including the installation of scientific research equipment.
CDRD is a joint initiative of BC’s research institutions (the Affiliated Institutions, which includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the BC Cancer Agency, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia, Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health, Provincial Health Services Authority) in partnership with the Provincial Government and Industry.
Natalie Dakers is CDRD’s Chief Executive Officer and Pieter Cullis is CDRD’s Scientific Director.