Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2007
  • Initiating Organization: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus
  • Location: North America


cdrd logo tagline PantoneThe Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is a Canadian non-profit organization that serves as an integrated national drug development and commercialization center. CDRD’s mandate is to de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector.


The mission of CDRD is to be a global leader in translating academic discoveries into new medicines; to bridge the commercialization gap between drug discovery and private investment by creating partnerships between academia, industry, and government that mobilize scientific excellence and enable a robust biopharmaceutical sector; and to provide the next generation of uniquely trained highly qualified personnel to drive the development of the medicines of tomorrow.

Structure & Governance

CDRD is governed by an independent board of directors comprised of a cross-section of public- and private-sector stakeholder groups.

In order to ensure all projects are initiated and subsequently managed with the highest level of objectivity and scientific and commercial excellence, CDRD relies on the following committees to determine which projects are selected for development and funding within CDRD, and to provide oversight on the progress of all CDRD projects.
Project Development Committee (PDC) is responsible for the peer review to determine which projects are undertaken within CDRD, and for assisting with the design and approval of Project Plans. It is composed of individuals with broad and considerable drug discovery expertise, including CDRD division chairs, CEO, scientific director, and director of scientific operations, as well as additional faculty members at affiliated institutions who serve as strategic advisors. Independent academic experts, including clinicians, are also called upon to provide additional input on specific proposals when needed.

Innovation Fund Review Panels review, assess, and recommend projects for funding by each of CDRD’s three Innovation Funds, and provide valuable input into Project Plans. These panels are comprised of CDRD division chairs, independent members, and members of the respective industry partner. Panel membership is selected jointly by CDRD and the partner.


CDRD has multiple funding partners including federal government organizations, provincial government organizations, and industry and foundations.

Since becoming fully operational in 2008, CDRD has already achieved a number of key milestones and outcomes, making a significant impact on Canada’s drug development environment.

Highlights of outcomes to date:

  • 800 potential projects/technologies reviewed
  • 125 full projects undertaken
  • 174 individual project iterations
  • 44 projects advanced towards commercialization and/or commercialized (35 ongoing)
  • 6 technologies out-licensed to the private sector or under current development/management of CVI
  • 4 spin-off companies launched
  • 33 new patent families supported with CDRD data
  • 23 collaborations on scientific publications
  • $75.2 million in grant funding facilitated for principal investigators and their CDRD-related projects
  • Over $40 million in international pharmaceutical sector investment attracted
  • $220 million in incremental commercially focused health research being conducted as result of CDRD
  • 110 post-doctoral fellows, co-op students, and interns through the CDRD Training Program
  • Over 98 drug development and commercialization workshops and seminars offered

See more at http://www.cdrd.ca/about-us/key-achievements/#sthash.mtO6s6FR.dpuf





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Points of Contact

For Investigators:
Dr. Sam White
Associate Director, Project Search and Evaluation

Sponsors & Partners



Johnson & Johnson

Provincial Government of British Columbia

Provincial Government of Alberta

Genome British Columbia

Networks of Centers of Excellence of Canada

Canada Foundation for Innovation

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research



QLT Inc.


Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Last Updated: 04/22/2016

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