Spring/Summer 2018 Communique
As Canada’s national life sciences venture, CDRD powers the country’s industry by creating and growing companies of scale – while training the scientific and business talent needed to drive them to become leading global anchors for Canada.
We are reaching out to you, as a valued CDRD stakeholder, with a quick
snapshot update of recent events, activities and news. We hope you find this
information useful, and feel free to contact us anytime at
CDRD Spin-Off Companies: Scaling Up & Generating Commercialization Outcomes
Zucara Therapeutics, a CDRD/MaRS Innovation spin-off company advancing the first once-daily therapeutic to prevent low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia), secured US$3.9 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support preclinical advancement of Zucara’s lead drug candidate ‘ZT-01’ to clinical trials.
Read more…

Sitka Biopharma Inc, a CDRD/UBC spin-off company, is now ramping up the manufacturing of their lead drug candidate “STK-01” for Phase I clinical trials with Cancer Research UK. STK-01 aims to improve delivery of chemotherapy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. More about the clinical trial…

Sepset Biosciences has started a multi-country, multi-center human clinical study that will validate and refine Sepset’s proprietary gene signature to quickly and accurately identify patients with sepsis. Read more…

Precision Nanosystems recently announced that it closed a US$6M Series B investment. The additional capital will enable new product development and hiring of staff at its Vancouver head office to provide its growing customer base a unified solution to more efficiently develop nanomedicines at lower costs. Read more…

Kairos Therapeutics, a CDRD spin-off company acquired by BC-based Zymeworks, developed a unique antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform that was instrumental in creating and advancing “ZW49” – Zymeworks’ first product candidate selected for clinical development. More details…

Ensuring Canadian Life Sciences Has a Pipeline of Talent to Lead the World: Introducing 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.
Gord McCauley CDRD President and CEO
Official Launch of CDRD Academy’s Executive Institute
We are very excited to have launched The Executive Institute, with the support of Pfizer Canada, at the Bloom Burton Healthcare Investor Conference!
Applications for the 2018-2019 program have been received and demographics are great: balanced by gender, geography, & expertise. We look forward to a formal announcement of the Class of 2019 in the coming weeks and the start of classes in September.
CDRD Academy Post-Graduate Institute Spotlight
Meet Dr. Jon Christensen, a Postdoctoral Fellow in our Screening division who shares his experience in drug development beyond academia.
CDRD Academy Undergraduate Institute Spotlight
Meet Nicole Kofman, a third year Honours Chemistry Co-op student from McMaster University in our Analytical and Pre-Formulation division.
Diversity is a Strength for Canada and CDRD
CDRD is a mosaic of brilliant scientific and business minds. Our team hails from all corners of the world, representing over 20 countries and speaking 18 different languages. Whether it be in drug development or beyond, diversity enriches any professional setting and results in better decision-making.
Unique Learning Experience for Aboriginal Students
For the second consecutive year, CDRD’s Target Validation and Analytical Chemistry teams hosted Aboriginal students from The Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program.
Students from communities in rural BC and Alberta spent a week in CDRD’s labs learning scientific methods used in drug discovery and analyzed composition of different drug compounds.
Building Talent to Support the Canadian Life Sciences Ecosystem – CDRD at BIO 2018
CDRD was proud to be part of the Canadian delegation (the largest international delegation) at BIO 2018 in Boston.
The team led by President & CEO Gordon McCauley, participated in panels and discussions including: The Canadian Panel on Talent, presented by Pfizer; a national Panel on Accelerators & Incubators; and numerous meetings with potential global partners.
CDRD Leadership Bolstered with Addition of Two Entrepreneurs-in-Residence
CDRD recently announced that two Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR), 
Lana Janes and Sacha Mann have joined the team.
Lana and Sacha bring extensive life sciences investment, commercialization, pharmaceutical development, and leadership experience to CDRD – exactly the kind of talent Canada needs to be a global innovation leader.
The EIRs are working with CDRD’s leadership team to identify specific areas of strategic commercial opportunity, and then in partnership with other stakeholders, drive the building of new companies of scale for development into strong anchors for Canada’s life science sector.
CDRD Biologics Powers Up with Addition of Schrodinger Inc.’s Computational Platform
CDRD and Schrödinger, Inc. announced a new collaboration to develop novel immuno-oncology monoclonal antibodies and other cancer biologics using CDRD’s portfolio of targeted antibodies and Schrödinger’s advanced computation platform.
50% of CDRD’s workforce are women, and we believe their stories can inspire many others to join the STEM force. Meet two of our staff featured in the ‘Canadian STEM Femmes’ blog
Dr. Leola Chow is an associate scientist who loves science because it allows her to learn something new and exciting every day.
Dr. Julia Hill is a postdoctoral research fellow and she believes being a scientist has helped her fulfill her dreams of seeing more of the world.
Life Changing Therapeutics:
Anti-Microbial Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a major global health challenge requiring a multifaceted and comprehensive approach. All G7 countries have developed national policies to combat AMR and it was an agenda item at the recent G7 Summit meeting held in Quebec.
CDRD, led by Dr. Edie Dullaghan, is also forging national and international partnerships to advance research for AMR therapeutics. One such international partnership has been formed between LifeArc, CDRD, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Together we are working to discover new anti-infective targets and develop new chemical classes of antibiotics in a joint effort to reduce the devastating consequences of AMR.
What is CDRD Doing to Advance Public Investments in Canadian Research?
Gordon McCauley sat down with John Daly at CKNW News to discuss the Canadian life sciences innovation landscape & CDRD’s role in advancing public investments made in biotech research.
Viruses Engineered to Kill Cancer Cells… Sci-Fiction or Sci-Fact? 
It’s a science fact! Dr. Ismael Samudio, CDRD’s Head of Biologics explains how he and his team are using oncolytic viruses and their potential in developing new cancer treatments.
Welcome to the Science Writers & Communicators of Canada
CDRD hosted a delegation from the annual Science Writers & Communicators of Canada annual meeting recently held in Vancouver.
Delegates were given a special behind-the-scenes tour of our labs and a Q&A session with Gordon McCauley, CDRD’s President & CEO.