Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

About Us

Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) addresses one of the biggest challenges facing the life sciences sector today: how to translate commercially promising health research conducted at the university level into innovative new therapies that improve and save lives.


There are frequent stories in the news with headlines such as “Exciting new breakthrough brings hope to patients.” But what happens to these breakthroughs? Do all these discoveries develop into life-saving therapies?

Most often, the answer is ‘no’ because the universities and/or small companies that have made these discoveries don’t have the specialized expertise, equipment and/or funding to develop the ground-breaking research into innovative new medicines.

That’s where CDRD comes in.

Headquartered in Vancouver, 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.

Our single mandate of commercialization results in cost-efficient collaboration and development using CDRD’s existing networks, facilities, and infrastructure.

In 2007, CDRD was founded on a shared vision between government, industry and academia. Since then CDRD has proven itself to be a highly-effective organization to validate, derisk, and advance innovative technologies forward along the innovation continuum, adding value throughout that process. These value-added technologies can then form the foundation of a critical mass of strong new health sciences companies.

To date, CDRD has:

  • Established Innovation Funds with some of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK);
  • Established over 40,000 sq. ft. of unique cutting-edge translational research infrastructure
  • Recruited top talent in the form of 100+ drug development and commercialization experts
  • Established 75+ provincial, national, and international partnership
  • Over $60 million in international pharmaceutical sector investment attracted
  • Developed 168 specially-trained Highly-Qualified Personnel (HQP)
  • Advanced drug technology development and commercialization, resulting in 14 technologies out-licensed to the private sector or under current development and 7 new spin-off companies
  • Demonstrated global leadership and garnering global recognition

Since 2008 the Government of Canada has recognized CDRD as a national Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR). We invite you to join us in this collaborative approach to meeting the health challenges of the next decade.


Our Vision:

Enablement of a vibrant and fully optimized global health sciences ecosystem integrating and supporting innovative research, commercialization and patient care.

Our Mission:

  • To be a global leader in bridging commercialization gaps to translate early-stage discoveries into new medicines.
  • To uniquely train the next generation of highly qualified personnel to drive the development of the medicines of tomorrow.

Our Mandate:

To work in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations, to identify and de-risk promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector.

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