Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Newest Spin-off Company from CDRD to Focus on Immunotherapy

Vancouver, BC – October 30, 2015: The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, is pleased to announce the founding of its latest spin-off company, Immcure Therapeutics Inc. CDRD’s Senior Vice President of Drug Development, Dr. Gregorio Aversa will be leaving his role with CDRD to become Immcure’s founding President.

Earlier this year, CDRD announced incremental support from Western Economic Diversification to launch its Immunotherapy Initiative through which CDRD is collaborating with academic and private sector partners to develop new technologies, and potentially identify new targets for immunotherapy. The creation of Immcure is a direct result of this support, and is a significant step forward in advancing this very promising class of therapeutics.

Harnessing the power of one’s own immune system to fight disease has a proven track record of success both historically, for vaccination against infectious diseases, and more recently in cancer therapy where the first cancer immunotherapies are showing great clinical success in improving the lives of patients. U.S. bank, Citigroup boldly predicts that the annual market for immunotherapies will exceed $35B USD, and “become the backbone of treatment in up to 60% of cancers over the next decade;” (Immunotherapy – The Beginning of the End for Cancer, 26 June 2013).

CDRD’s President and CEO, Karimah Es Sabar commented, “Recognizing the therapeutic and commercial potential of immunotherapy, CDRD made the strategic decision to build out our capacity in this exciting and rapidly expanding area of drug development, and we are excited to now see the results of that effort taking considerable shape. I also want to sincerely thank Gregorio for establishing and spearheading the immunotherapy platform at CDRD, and for his overall contributions to furthering the goals of CDRD not only in the past three years as Senior Vice President of Drug Development, but also in the six years prior to that as an external member of project evaluation committees.”

Dr. Aversa added, “Immunotherapy is a field in which I have been involved for over 30 years and that is now coming of age, offering tremendous potential benefit to patients.  I am excited to now be able to dedicate my full focus to building Immcure and a number of leading-edge immunotherapy platforms. “

Immunotherapy is a powerful therapeutic approach that uses the human body’s immune system to treat disease by inducing or suppressing an immune response. Unlike traditional pharmaceutical drugs which directly target or interact with affected cells, immunotherapy harnesses the power of the immune system to kill cancer cells or suppress inflammation and the effect can be long-lasting, without the need for frequent therapies. Therefore, immunotherapy has the potential to effectively treat cancer but also autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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About The Centre for Drug Research and Development:
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
Manager, Communications – CDRD
Telephone: 604-827-1226 | Mobile: 604-307-2372

Gregorio Aversa
President  – Immcure Therapeutics Inc.
Telephone: 604-362-6750

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