Natalie Dakers

Natalie Dakers

Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Drug Research and Development, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

April 29, 2009

Ms. Natalie Dakers is a leading figure in the biotechnology industry in Canada. Ms. Dakers is the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Drug Research and Development, a new initiative in British Columbia to address the commercialization gap between early-stage technologies arising out of university based research and investment opportunities.

Previously, Ms. Dakers was President and CEO of Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company developing drugs for chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy and cardiovascular diseases. As co-founder and CEO, Ms. Dakers built the company from inception and raised three rounds of venture financing totaling approximately $70M. Under her leadership, the company filed its first Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a novel chronic pain drug and commenced Phase 1 clinical trials. Ms. Dakers also brings many valuable years of experience in the commercialization of technology, licensing and intellectual property protection.

Prior to co-founding Neuromed, Ms. Dakers was a senior manager for life sciences technology transfer at the University Industry Liaison Office (UILO) at the University of BC. In this capacity, she was involved in the creation and spin-off of more than a dozen start-up high-tech and biotech companies.

Ms. Dakers is Past Chair of BC Biotech (now LifeSciences British Columbia), the association supporting and representing the province’s biotech, medical device and life sciences community, and a board member of Genome BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Genome Canada. Ms. Dakers is also an Adjunct Professor in UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the recipient of a 2004 Peak Award for Performance and Excellence.

Role: Panel Member
Report: Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short (April 2009)