Toronto, Canada: The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, and Pfizer Canada today announced the launch of  the CDRD Executive Institute under the umbrella of The CDRD Academy. This launch is made possible by a significant $1,000,000 contribution by Pfizer Canada. The Institute’s aim is to provide ongoing executive development to ensure that the Canadian life sciences sector has the management talent it needs to lead the world.

Successfully scaling Canadian life sciences companies, and growing them into strong, multi-product anchors, requires leaders to think in more complex, systematic, and strategic ways. To address this pressing need, CDRD has created this unique 10-monthprogram open to a maximum of 20 executive-level life sciences professionals annually. Recognizing that diversity is Canada’s strength, priority and focus will be given to addressing the gender gap within Canadian life sciences leadership, and to building opportunities for under-represented groups.

“The essence of any business is people, and building and supporting highly-qualified leaders is critical to drive Canada’s health sciences sector” said Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO of CDRD. McCauley continued, “The CDRD Academy has always been an essential part of our Mission, focused on helping high-potential scientists be more commercially minded. The CDRD Executive Institute will extend this work to helping high-potential business people lead Canada’s science-based businesses of tomorrow. We are deeply grateful to Pfizer Canada for their transformational support.”

John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada, added: We are pleased to partner with CDRD to implement concrete measures that will bring critical business skills to life science leaders while promoting diversity. Although not currently captured in the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, this investment will support Canada’s innovation ecosystem, and the Federal government’s priorities to improve gender balance and executive leadership in corporate Canada. Ultimately it will enhance the life science sector’s ability to attract and retain the best talent and grow a critical pillar in our economy.’’

The custom program will be delivered in collaboration with global training leaders, the not-for-profit Center for Creative Leadership, and will combine researched and proven best practices/principles with targeted industry topics to take participants on a leadership journey that incorporates a blend of assessments, simulations, challenging assignments and executive coaching. Training will be focused on real issues and current company challenges, making it highly relevant to the learner’s real work – learning while applying.  Coaches will help guide participants in setting goals, and peer accountability groups will also provide a vehicle to gain broader perspectives on issues they are experiencing.

To enhance ongoing executive development, program graduates will have the opportunity to teach topics about which they are passionate to co-workers and others, and to continue their involvement in the Program through extended peer groups, and by becoming mentors for new cohorts.

– 30 –


About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD):
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

About the CDRD Academy:
The CDRD Academy was created to deliver on a critical part of the organization’s mission: To uniquely train the next generation of highly-qualified personnel to drive the development of innovation. The Academy currently encompasses three distinct streams: The Executive Institute, the Post-Graduate Institute and the Undergraduate Institute. Each provides a customized training program to the ensure that the Canadian life sciences sector has the scientific and management talent to lead the world. The Academy is firmly committed to addressing issues of gender disparity, and to supporting diversity in the Canadian life sciences sector.


About Pfizer in Canada

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines, vaccines and consumer health products. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve patients’ lives. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on Twitter ( or Facebook (


For additional information, please contact:
Barry Gee
Senior Director,  Communications and External Affairs
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
Direct: 604-827-1223

Vincent Lamoureux
Director, Corporate Affairs
Pfizer Canada media line: 1-866-9Pfizer (1-866-973-4937)

For more information, and to apply, please visit: