Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

Support for Canadian Health Sciences Companies

Support for Canadian Health Sciences Companies

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is the only national drug development and commercialization engine providing the expertise and infrastructure to transform basic health research in our academic institutions, as well as early-stage therapeutic technologies in Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), into commercialized products improving human health.

Health sciences researchers, entrepreneurs, and companies alike have the opportunity to collaborate with CDRD and thereby access its full suite of expertise, infrastructure, and broad partnerships and networks.

CDRD has proven itself to be a highly-effective organization to validate, derisk, and advance innovative technologies forward along the innovation continuum, adding value throughout that process. These value-added technologies can then form the foundation of a critical mass of strong new health sciences companies.

In addition to being a technology Incubator, creating our own spin-off companies based on promising academic research from across the country, CDRD is also a company accelerator, supporting scale-up companies such as: viDA Therapeutics, Augurex Life Sciences Corp, Imstar Therapeutics, MSI Methylation Sciences, Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals, and Cyon Therapeutics.

For example, CDRD’s expertise has been utilized with viDA Therapeutics. CDRD is working with viDA’s team to develop their patented lead drug candidate, VTI-1002, advance it to a commercial stage, and in doing so, position the company for further private sector investment and/or strategic partnership. The drug compound is a highly-specific and potent inhibitor of an enzyme, Granzyme B (Gzm B), which has been found in elevated levels in patients with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases including lupus, abdominal aortic aneurysm, chronic skin ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

CDRD synthesized and provided GzmB inhibitor drug compounds that were used by viDA as part of validating the GzmB as a target for their therapeutic strategy. viDA’s novel treatment will be initially delivered by a topical cream, and the two partners are now collaborating to develop a clinical-grade formulation to support further efficacy studies and eventual human trials.

viDA’s President and CEO, Alistair Duncan said, “There is an immediate unmet clinical need to develop an effective therapy. Working with CDRD has helped to accelerate the development of our technology in addition to generating additional funding from industry. This has allowed us to hire more staff and investigate other uses beyond DLE – essentially building viDA’s core value and strategic positioning.”

All told, CDRD has incubated 269 early-stage technologies, successfully advancing 58, and completing 14 commercial transactions, including the launch of 7 new spin-off companies that have raised in excess of $60M in seed funding. CDRD has also supported an additional 26 existing Canadian health sciences companies (SMEs) by providing over 9,000 hours in access to CDRD’s scientific and commercial expertise and infrastructure.

All industry projects undertaken in partnership with CDRD are done so on a collaborative basis — our experts work together with you to undertake a commercial and scientific evaluation of your technology, and to then design a project plan optimized to drive the technology forward toward commercialization. If you have a technology that you think may benefit from CDRD’s support, you can start the process by completing and submitting this brief Technology Summary (opens a word doc).

For additional information on CDRD’s opportunities for industry, please contact:

Dr. Jason Crawford
Vice President, Scientific Operations
jcrawford@cdrd.ca
Direct: 604.827.1119


“While Augurex is a commercial-stage diagnostics company, the protein that we are measuring through the JOINTstat™ blood test (14-3-3η) is also a drug target for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Because of the biologics expertise that resided at CDRD though John Babcook's team at the time, Augurex decided to do some preliminary work to validate our "druggable target" observations. The work-up that the CDRD team did helped direct several of our next steps and identify some pitfalls to avoid as we moved our anti-14-3-3η therapeutic programs forward. The team was flexible, collaborative and a pleasure to work with.”
- Norma Biln, CEO, Augurex Life Sciences Corp.

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