Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Cystic Fibrosis Canada fosters collaboration in CF research to benefit patients — Cystic Fibrosis Canada Holds Symposium on Commercialization and Knowledge Translation, Sponsored in Part by CDRD

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 (Vancouver, B.C.) — The first-ever Cystic Fibrosis Canada Symposium on Commercialization and Knowledge Translation, hosted in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Infection and Immunity, brought together leading Canadian CF researchers to explore translating lab discoveries into new therapies for cystic fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease.

The two-day symposium, sponsored by The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and Rx&D, featured presenters who shared their own experiences in commercialization and translational research. In order to address some of the challenges facing the research and development environment in Canada, CF researchers voiced their support for increased collaboration, partnership and integration.

“As a leading funder of innovative CF research in Canada, Cystic Fibrosis Canada is committed to ensuring the knowledge gained from research leads to better health outcomes for Canadians with cystic fibrosis,” said Maureen Adamson, President and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “Hope for a cure or effective control is emerging every day in the fields of science, medicine, research and public policy. By generating discussion and exchanging ideas, we are better able to develop our research and clinical investment plans in the future. We are delighted to have received the support of CIHR, CDRD and Rx&D in making the Symposium a success.”

Cystic Fibrosis Canada, with the support of government, non-profit and industry partners, is committed to bridging the gap between CF research and commercialization — the next critical step in discovering a cure or effective control for this devastating disease.

Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO of CDRD, added, “CDRD was established just over five years ago to bridge the significant commercialization gap between academia and industry. By proactively identifying the most therapeutically promising research in academia, and then advancing it to the proof-of-concept stage, we then create the opportunity for industry to develop the new therapies patients need so badly. This symposium and our partnership with CF Canada have been extremely valuable in determining the best ways to achieve and accelerate this development.”

“The Symposium is a great example of how the innovative pharmaceutical industry is working in collaboration with its health partners in an effort to develop more effective treatments for Canadians, and faster,” said Russell Williams, President, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). “We need to build on this collaborative work and ensure a dynamic research and development environment in Canada to continue making the important discoveries of new medicines that keep Canadians healthy.”

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus causes severe respiratory problems. Mucus and protein also build up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food. As improved therapies have helped to address the malnutrition issues, ultimately most deaths related to cystic fibrosis are due to lung disease. Currently, there is no cure.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is one of the world’s top three charitable organizations committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and is an internationally-recognized leader in funding CF research, innovation, and clinical care. We invest more funding in life-saving CF research and care than any other non-governmental agency in Canada. Since 1960, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has invested more than $140 million in leading research and care, resulting in one of the world’s highest survival rates for Canadians living with cystic fibrosis. For more information, please visit

Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. For more information, please visit

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is a national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre headquartered in Vancouver that provides expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading Canadian health research institutions to advance promising early-stage drug candidates. In doing so, we de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector — successfully bridging the commercialization gap between academia and industry, and translating research discoveries into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). For more information, please visit


Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada’s knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner. For more information, please visit




For more information, please contact:
Melinda McInnes / Steven Woodhead, Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Public Relations and Advocacy Communications
Tel: 416-485-9149 ext. 240 / 291

Tel: 1-800-378-2233 ext. 240 / 291

Cell: 416-371-5196 / 416-873-1933


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