Welcome to CDRD – Built for Success

Every day is a revolution in life science in this world – from new cutting-edge drug development technologies and processes to a changing global business model, the life sciences sector pushes the boundaries every day. It’s time for CDRD to push those boundaries too. Pushing boundaries means we need to change some of the things we do and the way we do them.

Consequently, we are excited to announce a major operational re-organization designed to align CDRD’s structure with its three key functions, and optimize our role as Canada’s life sciences venture by:

  1. Creating companies of scale;
  2. Helping existing companies scale up; and
  3. Training the next generation of life sciences innovators and leaders.

Through this new structure, CDRD will be even stronger, and seek to realize our vision of Canadian life sciences leading the world.

Effective immediately, all CDRD projects will be managed by one of three Venture Partners:

Dr. Lana Janes joined CDRD as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence earlier this year, and now joins full time as Venture Partner. Lana brings an impressive track record of over two decades of success in both business and drug development in the biopharmaceutical industry, most recently serving as Senior Vice President at QLT (now Novelion), overseeing all aspect’s of QLT’s clinical stage R&D programs. Lana holds an AB in Chemistry from Harvard University, and did her PhD and postdoctoral work in organic chemistry at McGill University.

Dr. Jason Crawford has been our VP of Scientific Operations since 2014, and is now a Venture Partner. Like each of our Venture Partners, Jason is among the small cadre of people in Canada who has taken a drug from concept to marketplace. Jason holds a BSc in Chemistry/Biochemistry and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Victoria.

Mr. Paul Drohan is joining CDRD immediately as Venture Partner. Paul has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including eight years in the United Kingdom with Genzyme (a Sanofi Company) as Senior Global Vice President, leading the organizations’ strategic, financial, and sales and marketing operations performance for the UK, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Paul is also CEO of drug development company, Zomanex (which he will continue to lead from his Venture Partner role at CDRD), and is the former President and CEO of LifeSciences BC.

Each Venture Partner is responsible for overseeing and advancing a portfolio of ongoing CDRD projects, and will be supported by their own multi-disciplinary scientific and business team with access to CDRD’s state-of-the-art infrastructure. Each of these portfolios is dominated by a major project that we will seek to turn into a major spin-off, complemented by several other developing assets or relationships with mid-sized Canadian biotechs and academic researchers. In keeping with our mandate to train the next generation of scientific and business talent, each team will also include a number of members of the CDRD Academy’s Post-Graduate and Undergraduate Institutes.

To complement and support the Venture Partner teams, responsibility for evaluating new projects, and for CDRD’s Foresighting process to ensure an ongoing robust and strategic pipeline will continue to be led by Dr. Rachael Ritchie, Vice President, Partnerships & Strategy.

Venture Partner Teams will continue to be supported by our strong Intellectual Property (led by Dr. Dave Rogers, VP), Finance and Operations (led by Matthew Carlyle, CFO), People and Strategy (led by Patricia York, VP), and Communications and External Affairs (led by Barry Gee, Senior Director) groups. Sacha Mann will also continue on as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence working with CDRD leadership to identify and capitalize on specific areas of strategic commercial opportunity.

Change is never easy. Because of this process, a number of valued colleagues have left our team. The CDRD Board and Leadership Team believe strongly however, that this move is the right one not only for CDRD, but also for life sciences in Canada. This change allows us to streamline and focus our operations precisely with our Strategy; and it will help us better align our activities with other organizations across the country, enabling a more collaborative and effective national ecosystem in which academia, industry, investors, government and foundations work together to realize our Vision of Canadian life sciences leading the world.

We have some incredibly exciting projects in the pipeline that we are confident will contribute significantly to growing new Canadian anchor companies, and help existing companies scale-up. We will share more about those specifically in the coming months, but in the meantime, we ask for your continued engagement to remain at the forefront of Canadian innovation. We are grateful for the support you’ve shown CDRD, and we look forward to an even greater partnership going forward.

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas as to how we can more successfully or rapidly achieve our Vision, please reach out to me or any of my colleagues, at any time.


Gordon C. McCauley
President and CEO, CDRD

Email: gmccauley@cdrd.ca
Tel: 604.827.1207

About CDRD
CDRD is Canada’s national life sciences venture, powering the country’s life sciences industry by creating and growing companies of scale – and training the scientific and business talent needed to drive them to become leading global anchors in Canada. We build collaborations with the very best partners from academia, industry, patient foundations, the investment community, and other Key Opinion Leaders to provide 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.