Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Project Approval Criteria and Process

CDRD has developed a rigorous process for the identification, evaluation and development of promising early-stage drug technologies; and all projects must meet the following high-level initial criteria:

  • Willing and engaged Principal Investigator(s) (the PI remains an active collaborator and fully in control of the project  throughout its development) 
  • Excellent, innovative science
  • The potential to address an unmet medical need
  • The potential for a solid IP position
  • The potential to be commercialized
  • Critical question(s) / experiment(s) can be identified
  • Fit with CDRD’s capabilities and capacity
  • Fit within the strategic vision of CDRD

Innovation Fund Review Panels
CDRD also utilizes separate panels to review, assess and recommend projects for funding by each of CDRD’s Innovation Funds, and to provide valuable input into Project Plans. These panels are comprised of CDRD Division Chairs, independent members and members of the respective industry partner. Panel membership is selected jointly by CDRD and the partner.


If you have a project on which you are interested in collaborating with CDRD, our Project Search and Evaluation Team will work with you and your institution’s technology transfer office to define the therapeutic and commercial potential of your project and navigate CDRD’s approval process. 

“It is well known that diabetes has reached epidemic levels throughout the world. One of the key problems is preventing low blood-sugar in insulin-treated diabetic patients, but the problem also arises with other treatment modalities. Collaborating with CDRD has provided Michael Riddell (Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, York University) and me with access to a new area of drug development infrastructure and expertise to tackle these problems. This would not have been possible without the funding support provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, MaRS Innovation and the CDRD-Pfizer Innovation Fund.”

Dr. Mladen Vranic,
Laureate, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Professor Emeritus of Physiology and Medicine
University of Toronto

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