VANCOUVER, CANADA--(Marketwire - Sept. 26, 2011) - The Centre for Drug Research and Development's (CDRD's) commercial arm, CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), is pleased to announce they have entered into a Strategic Collaboration Agreement with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (Roche) whereby Roche has committed several million dollars to support and jointly develop innovative health research technologies under the management of CVI.
Under the Agreement, CDRD Ventures will drive the development of projects jointly selected in cooperation with Roche. The parties will collectively determine the most appropriate development paths for the intellectual property associated with the projects, and assess opportunities for collaboration, funding, management, and commercialization of these technologies.
"CDRD and CDRD Ventures are extremely pleased to be partnering with Roche – one of the most cutting-edge research-based companies in the world," commented Natalie Dakers, President and CEO of CDRD. "This is the first industry investment into CDRD's commercial arm which will allow us to successfully address the commercialization gap between academia and the private sector, and in doing so, bring new therapeutics to the patients who need them," she said.
Karimah Es Sabar, Senior Vice President, Business and Strategic Affairs for CDRD added, "This partnership is a truly integrated, collaborative and strategic approach to research, innovation and commercialization. It will allow each of us to leverage world-class research and drug development expertise while extending Canada's research alliances around the globe."
This newly-formed partnership will provide CVI with capital and additional world-class external expertise to further support Canadian health researchers in the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with high unmet medical need. At the same time, it will provide Roche with access to Canada's leading health research discoveries, and further build the company's product pipeline. Ultimately, this investment will support a mutual goal of transforming cutting-edge academic health research discoveries into viable commercial opportunities.
"We are pleased to be working with CDRD Ventures," said Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Partnering. "We believe this collaboration could result in the discovery and development of innovative new drugs that could make a real difference to patients' lives."
Ronnie Miller, President and CEO, Roche Canada added, "Roche Canada is committed to partnering to deliver innovative medicines, and to advance healthcare. We look forward to seeing the real-world benefits that will result from the important research being conducted by CDRD."
Pat Bell, British Columbia's Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation said, "We welcome this partnership between CDRD and Roche which will build on BC's $1.8-billion investment in research and innovation. This alliance will create jobs, enhance our province's reputation for R&D, and help patients the world over."
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), a national not-for-profit public-private organization headquartered in Vancouver, provides drug development expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading academic and health research institutions to advance promising, early-stage drug candidates. CDRD has supported close to 100 research projects generated from its network of 20+ affiliated research institutions across Canada. These institutions represent billions invested in health-related research every year, and CDRD plays a pivotal role in translating that research into commercial products and economic returns including new jobs for British Columbia and Canada. The Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). For more information, please visit www.cdrd.ca.
About CDRD Ventures Inc.
The Centre for Drug Research and Development's (CDRD's) commercial arm, CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), acts as an interface between CDRD and industry. The company in-licenses intellectual property generated from selected CDRD projects directly from the affiliated institution or inventor, and forms strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to further develop and commercialize the technologies. Profits from CVI flow back to CDRD to support further ongoing drug development projects, thus providing a mechanism for long-term sustainability.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.