Drug Development and Innovation Centre

Industry Advisory Committee

The The Industry Advisory Committee offers advice to the industry on project specific issues:

  • clinical trials material development
  • project prioritization
  • interaction with industry and regulatory agencies

Committee members offer a wealth of experience:

  • strategic relevance for the pharmaceutical industry
  • provide consultations to clients on specific projects

The committee is represented on the board of directors and is privy to the operations of center:

Dr. Ron Boch, Ph.D.
Vice President, Biotechnology and Industry Affairs

Ron Boch is Vice President, Biotechnology and Industry Affairs with lead responsibility for BIOTECanada's industry policy development. BIOTECanada is the Canadian national industry association with nearly 250 members located nationwide, reflecting the diverse nature of Canada’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sectors. Ron was the Director, Pharmaceutical Development at VBI Vaccines Inc., a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, MA developing vaccines.  He is experienced in the development of biopharmaceutical and biotechnology products including their formulation, chemistry, manufacturing and controls.  Ron worked at QLT Inc. in Vancouver for over ten years where he contributed to the development of Visudyne (approved for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration) and as the Associate Director, Formulation, he directed the development activities of a wide variety of preclinical and clinical products.  As a named inventor of over 60 US and international patent applications including nine different patent families, Ron developed technologies for new business opportunities and managed relationships with key opinion leaders in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry.  Ron has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and B.Sc. in Biochemistry, both earned from the University of Ottawa in Canada.  


Dr. Hugh Semple, PhD
Study Director, ToxTest - Alberta Research Council

Dr. Hugh Semple currently holds the position of Study Director at Alberta Research Council at Vegerville. An accomplished entrepreneur, academic and a registered veterinarian, Dr. Semple’s areas of interest include animal modelling, pharmaceutical technology, development of synthetic drugs and natural health products including Traditional Chinese medicine. Dr. Semple started his career as an academic with University of Saskatchewan in 1989 and became a full tenure professor in 1994. He is Adjunct Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at University of Saskatchewan. As an entrepreneur, he was instrumental in the launch and held senior management positions at two start-up/ emerging companies, one of which was publicly traded in Hong Kong. Before joining Alberta Research Council he served as the Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Director, Pharmacokinetics/ Pharmacodynamics department at Kinetana Group Inc.. He also served as Managing Director at Novokin Biotech Inc. and Suvax Biosciences Inc. and is the President of Blizmi Inc.

Dr. Ernst Bergmann, PhD
Director, Business Development - BioMedical Engineering Research Results Initiative



Sophie-Dorothee Clas, Ph.D.
Consultant, PharmaSolv Consulting, Montreal, QC, CANADA

Dr. Clas established PharmaSolv Consulting after working for 23 years in drug development at Merck & Co., Inc.  Prior to launching PharmaSolv Consulting, Dr. Clas worked for 3 years in the Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences group in West Point, PA providing physico-chemical characterization and pre-clinical tox formulation support to the Discovery teams in the areas of infectious diseases, neurosciences and endocrine. She contributed to the approval of several compounds which are currently in Phase I clinical studies. She also led the Global Prodrug Expert Team at Merck with a mandate to promote using prodrugs in Discovery. Between 2008 and moving to Merck in West Point, PA, Dr. Clas was responsible for guiding the selection of the drug substance phase and preclinical tox formulations in infectious disease; which led to the development of one compound currently in Phase II. She served as global scientific advisor, providing guidance and mentoring on phase and formulations. Prior to this, Dr. Clas led the Preformulation group at Merck Frosst Canada for 17 years until restructuring in 2008, providing materials characterization support to the development of new drug candidates in the anti-inflammatory disease area, from Phase I to filing. During this time, her team contributed to the development of Singulair®, Vioxx®, Arcoxia®, laropiprant (Tredaptive®), veterinary Cox-2 inhibitors (e.g. Equioxx®), as well as compounds that are presently in Phase II to III studies, for example, odanacatib, a Cat K inhibitor for osteoporosis in Phase III. Dr. Clas is also adjunct professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal.  She has been an invited lecturer at many symposia and conferences and has contributed to 76 oral and poster presentations. She is co-inventor of 11 patents and co-author of 43 refereed publications and 15 preprints and abstracts.