Thank you for your ongoing commitment to CDRD. This purpose of this note is to celebrate our successes and report to you on what we have in store.

In the first half of 2017, we conducted a deep strategic dive based on experiences (good and bad) to date, and an analysis of dramatic changes in global science, business, and public policy. We also asked ourselves tough existential questions about the role we play and how it can be done more effectively.

As we addressed these questions, we also reached out broadly to stakeholders to ask many of the same ones.

Having done this work as objectively as possible, it is clear that the need for a strategically focused, driven, and successful CDRD is as great today as it has ever been.

This process defined the core functions of CDRD that will help scale the Canadian life sciences ecosystem, and help Canada reap the economic benefits of its deep investment in research:

  1. Replicating data;
  2. Asking and answering the tough scientific questions early and robustly;
  3. Addressing the breadth of commercialization issues early;
  4. Building companies of scale; helping existing companies expand, broaden and add value to their assets; and
  5. Training and recruiting the talent that will define our industry in the future.

These functions are a reflection of our Vision: CDRD is a catalyst for Canadian life sciences leading the world.

That vision will be realized by successfully executing our mission:

  • Be a global bridge that translates discoveries into innovative therapeutic products & improved health outcomes.
  • Build sustainable partnerships to identify & advance promising discoveries & transform them into validated investments.
  • Uniquely train the next generation of highly-qualified personnel to drive the development of innovations.

We have also spent a lot of time thinking about – and celebrating internally – the values by which we conduct ourselves in order to achieve this vision and this mission: Courage; Collaboration; Objectivity; Judgement; Excellence; and Reach.

On September 20th at our Stakeholder Recognition Dinner, we made some exciting announcements that will propel us forward as we gear up for the next phase of CDRD.

We have partnered with colleagues in the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia to create Translation Together. This new collaboration will leverage complementary scientific and operational strengths of member organizations, and provide a platform to share insight into the challenges facing translation. Click here to read the press release.

Among these global translational organizations however, there is really only one other like us — what used to be called Medical Research Council Technology in the UK, now LifeArc. LifeArc is a key strategic partner and we’re delighted to join with them and announce the creation of a Fellowship in Translational Research whereby CDRD and LifeArc have agreed to strategically share the experience and insight of their senior leadership. The first fellow, Dr. Dave Pardoe, has spent over 20 years in the international pharmaceutical industry driving technology assessment, business strategy, and creating and implementing novel collaborative models across charity, industry, funder and academic partners. During his fellowship he will serve as CDRD’s Vice-President of Scientific Strategy while we recruit a full time leader.

To achieve all that we have set as goals for the future, we are also pleased to announce the appointments of Dr. Francois Bénard and Ms. Nancy Harrison to our Board. I am pleased to welcome these two outstanding life sciences leaders who have made tremendous contributions to our sector. With their experiences from both the research and business sides of the industry, they will be a great asset in continuing to drive CDRD forward. Read the press release here.

As you may have noticed, there is another change CDRD is making to signal and reflect this new stage of the organization – a new brand identity, inspired by CDRD’s new Vision, Mission and Values. We invite you to visit our social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn to better appreciate the power of these new tools.

More important than all of the strategic development, global relationships, and governance, however, is the fact that my colleagues, and those in our spin-out companies, have continued to meet their objectives and build scale-up value in Canada:

  • Sitka Biopharma executed the third tranche of its private investment and gained significant support from Cancer Research UK to conduct a phase 2 study;
  • Zucara Therapeutics gained significant support from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the United States to complete pre-clinical on work on its very exciting technology;
  • Sepset Biosciences commenced a clinical trial with its truly novel gene signature for sepsis;
  • We executed several new relationships with Canadian biotech companies to help them scale-up their technology, either by helping solve a scientific problem that is a roadblock to risk capital investment, or builds scale-up in secondary pipeline assets;
  • We continued to build the basis of several new spin-outs that I look forward to sharing with you in the not-too-distant future; and
  • Our training programs continue to deliver exemplary results, including the first cadre of indigenous science students, and we have some important plans on this front as well. Get to know some of our highly-impressive trainees here and on our YouTube page.

As stakeholders, you are CDRD’s foundation and future: we need your ongoing engagement, support, and open communication if we are to be successful. We invite you to join us with interesting ideas, concepts, and opportunities that help build a Canadian life sciences ecosystem that leads the world.

We look forward to sharing more positive news on a regular basis.


Gordon C. McCauley
President & CEO




CDRD is hiring! Check out the career postings page often as new opportunities are posted on a regular basis.