Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Transforming Drug Research and Development in BC

For Immediate Release

November 23, 2016

VANCOUVER, BC – Today Health Minister Terry Lake announced $13 million in funding for The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to help improve the lives of British Columbian families by supporting the pathways drug research takes from the labs to the patient.

“Through our investments we’re proud to see made-in-B.C. drug therapies reach the world stage, attracting national and international attention,”Lake said. “This funding will help The Centre for Drug Research and Development continue its efforts in making it easier for drug breakthroughs to reach the public.”

“We benefit from the work done by The Centre for Drug Research and Development, and have seen successful drug innovations and companies already in development,” said Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Amrik Virk. “This type of work supports our #BCTECH Strategy, as advances in life sciences attract skilled researchers and jobs to our province.”

This funding builds on a previous investment of $29 million for The Centre for Drug Research and Development announced in 2012, and will support the centre’s goal of bringing new drug therapies to the market, benefiting patients and families.

The centre is well on its way to achieving that goal. It is the only national drug development organization providing the expertise and infrastructure to translate basic health research from academic institutions, into products that improve human health. At the moment, the centre has several drugs in process and new therapies in development. These include:

  • Bladder cancer therapy, with new formulations of existing drugs developed to help bladder and other cancer patients receive the full benefit of their treatment;
  • Multiple new antibody-drug therapies to treat various cancers; and,
  • A new once-daily treatment to prevent hypoglycemia in diabetics.

“The provincial government has always been a critical partner for us, and this investment will help us further advance the work we do in translating health research into viable investment opportunities for the private sector, and ultimately into new therapies for patients,” said Gordon C. McCauley, interim president and CEO for The Centre for Drug Research and Development. “On behalf of the CDRD team, I thank the B.C. government for their continued and unwavering support.”

The centre has established innovation funds with some of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies – including GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer, and recruited 100 drug development and commercialization experts, while establishing more than 75 provincial, national and international partnerships that have attracted over $60 million in international pharmaceutical sector investments. The Centre for Drug Research and Development is widely recognized as a global leader in translating research.

Advances in technology lead to much more personalized and effective health care. Through the #BCTECH Strategy and support for organizations like The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Genome BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency, the province continues to attract and retain talented researchers to work in B.C. to help improve care for patients and save lives.

Learn more:
Visit the #BCTECH Strategy:
Learn about The Centre for Drug Research and Development:

Media contact:
Ministry of Health Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

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