Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI) Announce Transition of Management to Lead Organizations to Next Stage of Success

VANCOUVER, BC— June 4th, 2012: The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and its commercial arm, CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI)  today announced changes to the leadership of the two organizations in order to position them for their next phase of growth.

Effective immediately, CDRD President and CEO Natalie Dakers will take on a new role and become the first fully-dedicated CEO of CVI. At the same time, Karimah Es Sabar, currently Senior Vice President, Business and Strategic Affairs has been named as the new President and CEO of CDRD, charged with executing on the organization’s newly-developed Five-Year Plan.

CDRD was created to de-risk promising discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into commercially viable opportunities for the private sector. CVI is responsible for capturing the value that is generated from the work of CDRD, driving the commercialization of CDRD research projects, and ultimately returning its profits to CDRD to ensure its long-term sustainability.

To date, CDRD and CVI have shared a management team, but as CDRD evolves, and as its research projects are effectively developed to a point where they are able to attract private sector partnerships and investment, the commitment of dedicated resources to CVI shall enhance the focus on the commercialization of these projects. At the same time, strong leadership of CDRD is critical to ensuring that it continues to effectively work with national and international research partners to advance the most promising early-stage drug candidates towards this commercial stage.

Dr. David Dolphin, Chair of CDRD commented, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of CDRD, I want to recognize and sincerely thank Natalie for all she has done over the past seven years to grow CDRD from the ground up. She has been a driving force behind its successful establishment, and will no doubt bring the same commitment and energy to now building CVI into an equally robust organization. The Board is also delighted to have someone of Karimah’s remarkable experience and talent now leading CDRD. With Karimah at the helm, CDRD has a very bright future in front of it.”

Patrick Wolfe, Chair of CVI added, “It is critical that we begin to develop CVI as a distinct entity from CDRD, and enhancing Natalie’s role to become its first fully-dedicated CEO is a significant next step in achieving that. Over the coming months under Natalie’s management, we will also further build CVI’s broader operational structure, and more fully define and delineate the relationship between the two organizations,” he said.

To date, CDRD has undertaken work on 80 novel health technologies (over 100 research projects), with 40 of those being successfully advanced towards commercialization. In doing so, CDRD is generating a robust supply of pre-validated and de-risked innovations to fuel Canada’s life sciences product pipeline and enable further technology development, licensing and new company creation. The leadership appointments announced today are aimed at further enabling CDRD and CVI to fully maximize such outcomes to the benefit of all Canadians.

About CDRD
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is a national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre that provides expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading 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 and economic returns for British Columbia and Canada.

Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

About CDRD Ventures Inc.
CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), is The Centre for Drug Research and Development’s (CDRD’s) for-profit commercial arm, and acts as an interface between CDRD and industry. The company in-licenses intellectual property generated from selected CDRD projects directly from the affiliated institution or inventor, and forms strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to further develop and commercialize the technologies. Profits from CVI flow back to CDRD to support further ongoing drug development projects, thus providing a mechanism for long-term sustainability.


For additional information, please contact:
Barry Gee
Director, Communications
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and
CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI)
(604) 221-7750 x223

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