Innovating Pharmaceutical Therapies

Pioneering the world’s first prescription pharmaceutical-grade CBD tablet.

Innovating Pharmaceutical Therapies

Pioneering the world’s first prescription pharmaceutical-grade CBD tablet.

Extraordinary Leadership. Unparalleled Experience. Architects of Canada’s generic pharmaceutical industry.

Empower Pharm

EmpowerPharm is an early-stage Canadian pharmaceutical company developing prescription CBD tablets for anxiety sufferers. We are led by healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals with over 450 years of cumulative industry experience.

Our Mission Title
Our Mission

Our mission is to become a global pharmaceutical leader in CBD-based therapeutic products that empower people to make better, more informed personal health decisions.

We are focused on becoming the first pharmaceutical company to earn a Drug Establishment Licence for manufacturing CBD products in Canada.

We will lead the way from Canada by undertaking clinical research studies to fully determine CBD’s efficacy. Each of our prescription products will require a Drug Identification Number and will be approved by national and international regulators.

Our Values

Our Vision Image
Our Vision

Quality is our #1 core value and our #1 strategic advantage

Our products empower healthier lives by elevating the quality and choices of available pharmaceutical products that make significant positive impact on patients and consumers seeking new and transformative methods to better manage personal health.

Our Team

Pioneers of Canada's generic pharmaceutical sector, our leadership team consists of executives with experience at the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Our expertise lies in pharmaceutical analytical research and development, quality control operations, quality assurance and compliance. We are supported by world-class Medical Advisory and Clinical Advisory Boards, consisting of renowned physicians, psychiatrists, and field experts from Canada and abroad.

Aubrey Dan

Co-Founder &
Executive Chairman

Peter Billiaert

Co-Founder, President
& Board Member

Jack Kay


Tamas Szederkenyi

Chief Scientific &
Quality Officer

Chrys Chrysanthou

Chief Financial Officer

Norman Dash

Vice President, Information
Technology & Security

Ildiko Riss

Vice President, Quality
& Regulatory Affairs

Rindy Kerr

Site Director

Dr. Anat Fields

Director of Clinical Projects

Giridhar Cheekati

Director of Pharmaceutical Research & Development

Colin Staunton

Director of Engineering

David Levine

Investor Relations Manager & Interim Corporate Secretary

Elias Toby

Audit Committee Chair

Nancy Baines

Corporate Governance & Compensation Committee Chair

Janis Peleshok

Board Member

Dr. Jacob Thiessen

Clinical Research Consultant

Dr. Antonio Vigano


Dr. Martin Katzman


Dr. Sagnik Bhattacharyya


Dr. Michael Van Ameringen


Dr. Arun Ravindran


Dr. Henry Olders


SOS Design Inc.

Former pharmaceutical executive at Novopharm Ltd. and President of Wampole Canada Inc. with over 15 years industry experience. Aubrey is a Canadian businessman, philanthropist as well as a Tony-Award® winning producer (MEMPHIS) who is also the principal of the Dancap Family Investment Office Aubrey received an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree (honoris causa) from Assumption University in 2008 and from Western University in 2019. He also received a Professional Achievement Award in 2015 from Western University. He is a Governor at Tel Aviv University, sits on the board of Avivagen. Aubrey received the Order of Canada in 2019.

Aubrey Dan - Video

Pharmaceutical industry veteran and senior manager with Novopharm Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceuticals with over 35 years experience. Peter has extensive experience in R&D program management, Decommissioning and Construction of manufacturing facilities and laboratories, Integration of companies, Technology Transfer, ERP selection and implementation. He was the Vice President responsible for the Integration of Novopharm Ltd. with Teva Pharmaceuticals. Peter then became Vice President of Business Process Improvement, responsible for the standardization of all business processes across North America for Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Peter Billiaert - Video

Experienced executive at Novopharm Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceuticals Canada with over 35 years of progressive experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. He has demonstrated expertise in all aspects of Pharmaceutical Analytical Research and Development and Quality Control Operations including but not limited to Analytical Method and Specifications Development and Validation, releasing of commercial Raw Materials and Finished Product batches, maintaining and trending Compliant Stability programs for North America, carrying out “Out of Specifications/Out of Trend” investigations and Analytical Methodology and Technology Transfers. Over his career, Tamas has developed a strong understanding and very close working relationships with Pharmaceutical Development, Regulatory Affairs (including Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls), Biopharmaceutics (PK/BA/BE) and QA Departments. Tamas has also served as an expert witness for Health Canada.

Finance professional with over 20 years experience, including 15 years in healthcare industry management roles. Completed multiple acquisitions including two public company deals worth in excess of US $1.5B. His past experience includes 2 years as President of the Motion Intelligence division of Quadrant Biosciences, 9 years with Zimmer Biomet including roles as the Global Head of Finance for Zimmer Biomet’s Spine, Dental, and CMF & Thoracic divisions, Senior Director of Finance, Operations and Logistics for Canada and Director of Finance for Canada and Latin America.

20-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry managing IT teams and leading ERP selection and implementation at Novopharm Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Norman has an in-depth knowledge of IT for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. He has led successful regulatory body computer system audits and reviews by both the FDA and Health Canada and is well versed in well versed in FDA 21CFR Part 11 software compliance. He has developed complete ICT environments and infrastructures and developed and implemented full-scale Business Continuity Plans (BCP).

Over 30 years of progressive experience in pharmaceutical quality and compliance operations with Novopharm Ltd., Watson Laboratories (US), Contract Pharmaceutical Laboratories (CPL), Teva Pharmaceuticals and most recently with Apotex Inc. Her high level experience includes Quality systems & operations, Quality Assurance & Compliance, Laboratory expertise, R&D QA functions, Contract development & manufacturing organization (CDMO) management and Agency Inspection.

Ildiko is an accomplished pharmaceutical executive with 30+ years of progressive experience and a strong portfolio of achievements. She has successfully led teams in different areas of pharmaceutical operations, including but not limited to pharmaceutical quality systems, scientific and technical affairs, analytical R&D, and quality control.

She has proven expertise in development and commercialization of both prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutical dosage forms and in understanding related regulatory requirements. She has supported over 70 regulatory submissions (chemistry and manufacturing controls) to different regulatory bodies in her past, resulting in drug approval and commercialization. She has maintained site compliance, led regulatory audits and just recently successfully guided her team to achieve EU GMP compliance for medicinal cannabis manufacturing, packaging and testing.

Her previously held roles include pharmaceutical quality, regulatory, compliance, general management at ARA - Avanti Rx Analytics Inc., Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited, Dalton Pharma Services, Taro Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Novopharm Ltd.

Former President & CEO of Apotex Inc. with 55 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry including generic and branded. Jack spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical Industry as a detail sales representative for a Branded pharmaceutical company before moving over to Director of Government sales for ICN Canada in Montreal. He then joined Apotex Inc. as VP Sales & Marketing progressing to various roles including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating officer, President and Vice Chairman.

Jack Kay - Video

More than 20 years experience, including international experience in pharma, medical device, biotech and financial services for companies such as Apotex Inc., AstraZeneca, and CIBC. She has been on the Board of Directors of Pele Mountain Resources and worked in Special Initiatives, Risk Management, office of the CRO at CIBC. Her diverse experience includes Product Strategy and Licensing and Emerging Brands for AstraZeneca, launching innovative neuromodulation solutions for Medtronic, and censing specialty pharma for Paladin.

Janis Peleshok - Video

Senior executive with over 20 years experience in the OTC pharmaceutical field with broad ranging contract manufacturing oversight with most of the world’s top-20 research-based pharmaceutical companies. Nancy has been Director of New Business Development for Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. eventually becoming VP of the Consumer Health Division, and responsible for a vitamin and supplement manufacturing facility in Vancouver, B.C. She was VP of North American Business Management for Patheon Inc. responsible for customer relationships in Canada, the U.S. and Puerto Rico, maximizing product life cycle, reducing competitive threats, identifying line extensions, and making strategic manufacturing decisions.

Nancy Baines - Video

Over 25 years experience as COO and CFO for the Dancap Family Investment Office, overseeing the operational and financial functions of the family investment office. Elias is a Chartered Professional Accountant who, along with Aubrey, has responsibility for all personnel and all aspects of management of the Dancap Investment Portfolios. This includes both direct and fund private-equity commitments, active and passively managed public equity products, real estate holdings, private debt investments and uniquely structured investments.

Elias Toby - Video

Rindy is a Pharmaceutical professional with over 25 years of experience, having prior responsibilities for manufacturing, packaging, process improvement, facilities and project management. Prior to joining EmpowerPharm she was the Site Director at Pharmetics in Burlington. Before Pharmetics she was a Senior Operations Manager with Patheon Inc. Rindy’s past experience brings to EmpowerPharm a thorough knowledge across organizational departments and a solid team attitude allowing for effective guidance of multi-functional teams towards results. She brings a customer-centric focus ensuring quality services to both internal and external stakeholders which is key in her role as Site Director for EmpowerPharm. Rindy is a certified Professional Logistician (P.Log) with the Logistics Institute of Canada.

Dr. Fields has 20 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, where she headed the global clinical program at Apotex, overseeing scientific affairs, clinical and bioanalytical operations, as well as data management and clinical project management. Dr. Fields was also responsible for the development of clinical/regulatory strategies of the product pipeline. In an earlier role, Dr. Fields was responsible for providing scientific and regulatory guidance on all aspects of study design, statistical analysis, and reporting of bioequivalence and clinical equivalence studies of various dosage forms.

David obtained his BA from McGill University and his joint JD/MBA degrees from Queen’s University. He was called to the New York State Bar after graduation and began his career at Scotiabank with roles in risk management and corporate banking. After leaving the corporate world, David joined a startup in the entertainment technology space as their CFO where he was instrumental in securing a series A investment and expanding into the US market. He is also a founding member of Lay-Up, a charity that has sent over 2500 underprivileged children to leadership basketball camps across Toronto. As a member of the Governance Professionals of Canada, David works with our board of directors to implement best practices for all matters relating to corporate governance.

Peter is a pharmaceutical professional with 30 plus years of proven, progressive oral solid dose experience in Validation, Engineering, Manufacturing, Packaging, Warehousing and Distribution. A highly motivated leader with a proven track record for building, developing and retaining high performance teams within Brand, Generic and Contract Manufacturing Organizations. He has demonstrated success in applying effective problem solving and decision making skills to streamline inefficient processes and implement continuous improvement solutions. Peter is a Licensed Chemical Engineer since 1991 with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Giridhar Cheekati (Giri) is an industrial entrepreneur with 27 years of experience in Pharmaceutical & Natural Health Products industries with vast expertise in the areas of Pharmaceutics Research & Development, Commercial manufacturing, Validation, Product life cycle management, Quality Assurance & Compliance. In his past endeavors he was instrumental in integration of companies and technology transfer of novel branded formulations. Giri comes to Empower family with work experience in world renowned companies such as Cipla Ltd., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Merck KGa&A, Mylan and Tilray.

Dr. Thiessen earned Pharmacy degrees in Canada and subsequently completed his doctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco where he specialized in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and experimental analytics. His academic career has involved ~40 years both at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo where he had strategic responsibility for developing the new Health Sciences campus including Canada’s 10th School of Pharmacy. In addition to the educator/leader role, his Canadian and International basic and clinical research has entailed time-dependent processes, drug response, new therapies in cancer and iron overload, and advanced technologies to diagnose and treat disease.

Beyond academics he has served organizations like the DQTC of the Ontario Ministry of Health, Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Bioavailability, Bioequivalence, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology, and the Waterloo-based Research Institute for Aging. His insights in fundamental research and clinical outcomes have brought numerous consulting opportunities in Canada, USA and Europe. Lastly, he remains academically linked as Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto and Adjunct Professor, University of Waterloo.

Dr. Antonio Vigano is the principal investigator for several medical-cannabis-related clinical trials, including the Quebec Cannabis Registry. He has extensive experience in the field of medical cannabis, having evaluated and monitored more than 1,500 medical cannabis patients since 2015.

As an expert in palliative medicine, Dr. Vigano is the director of the Cancer Rehabilitation and Cachexia Clinic at McGill University Health Centre and an Associate Professor at the Department of Oncology and Medicine at McGill University.

As a graduate of the University of Milan School of Medicine and the University of Alberta, Dr. Vigano has been the recipient of many awards, honours and distinctions over the course of his 30-year career.

Dr. Katzman is the Clinic Director and Staff Psychiatrist at the S.T.A.R.T. Clinic (Stress, Trauma, Anxiety, Rehabilitation and Treatment) for Mood and Anxiety, Toronto, Ontario. He is a well-known expert on the matter of anxiety and other related psychiatric disorders. He is also a faculty member at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (Laurentian University and Lakehead University). Dr. Katzman is appointed in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University and is a member of the Faculty of Psychology at Adler School of Professional Studies.

Dr. Katzman was trained at the University of Toronto, first undertaking his B.Sc. in Psychology and Neuroscience, and subsequently his medical training and residency. His clinical work deals mainly with the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, as well as those suffering with chronic Attention Deficit Disorders, Executive Dysfunction, and chronic pain.

Dr. Bhattacharyya is a Professor of Translational Neuroscience & Psychiatry at King’s College, London, UK. He is a pioneer researcher in the field of the effects of cannabinoids on different human brain functions. He has been part of international research groups focusing on different psychiatric and basic neuroscientific research regarding the interactions between the endocannabinoid system and human cognitive functions. Dr. Bhattacharyya specializes in neurobiology of schizophrenia, diagnostic imaging techniques and cannabinoids’ mechanism of action.

Dr. Van Ameringen is a full professor at the Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences department at McMaster University. After graduating from medical school, he completed his residency in psychiatry and subspecialized in child psychiatry. His current research is focused on the psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders and comorbid mood disorders, obsessive compulsive and related disorders, the relationship between the gut microbiome and OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and treatment resistance. He is a member of the Board of Directors and the Scientific Council of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Depression and Anxiety. Dr. Van Ameringen has published widely in the area of OCD and anxiety disorders.

Dr. Arun Ravindran is a full Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; he also is the director of global mental health project and the office of fellowship training of University of Toronto. He contributes to the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health as a research scientist. Dr. Ravindran’s clinical and research interests are in the area of mood and anxiety disorders. His research focus is on the behavioural pharmacology of psychotropic agents and their synergy with psychological and alternative therapies, and the use of functional neuroimaging to examine the etiology and treatment correlates of these illnesses. He has received the Donald A. Wasylenki Award for international partnerships, education and social responsibility from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He enjoys contributing to humanitarian global mental health projects.

After completing his psychiatric training at McGill University, Dr. Olders joined the staff at Douglas Hospital as treating physician and also the Director of the Psychogeriatrics Programme. Afterwards he worked at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis – Jewish General Hospital in their Psychogeriatrics Clinics, and also as an assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University. Later in his career, he practiced at Ste. Anne’s Hospital in Ste-Anne de Bellevue and looked after the hospitalized war veterans between 2005 and 2016. His work with chronic psychotic patients and their families led to receiving the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 1995 from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). In 2005 he was awarded the Henry Kravitz Teacher of the Year Award by the psychiatry residents at the Jewish General Hospital. As a computer science engineer, he has combined the two realms of science. Dr. Olders is interested in research into the role of sleep patterns in causing depression and anxiety, affective disorders and cognition, and machine learning.

Colin is a Pharmaceutical and Engineering professional that comes to us with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. Prior to joining EmpowerPharm he was the Engineering Manager at Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited where he crafted his skills in process design, continuous improvement, and statistical analysis. Colin brings a worldly view on manufacturing practices having started his career as an Engineer in Ireland with medical device company Boston Scientific.

Our Mission Title
Our Products

EmpowerPharm is developing a synthetic, prescription cannabidiol (CBD), designed to be consumed orally in a tablet format. We source our synthetic CBD API from a Canadian supplier with a GMP facility approved by Health Canada.

Empower CBD™ will be sold exclusively through pharmacies and hospitals and require a doctor’s prescription, allowing many sufferers to get the drug cost reimbursed from participating insurance companies and provincial formularies for wide patient accessibility.

EmpowerPharm seeks approvals by national regulatory authorities, such as Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for its pharmaceutical-grade prescription product, Empower CBD™. These applications will be made after clinical research to prove safety and efficacy.

Anecdotally, CBD has become a well-known alternative to treat many diseases and symptoms. EmpowerPharm has a targeted scientific approach which is expected to be supported by full clinical studies to treat anxiety. This will ‘Empower’ sufferers to use an alternative treatment to avoid the potentially addictive products currently prescribed.


As many as 10% of the global population suffers from anxiety (over 780M people)¹ with the Canadian and US markets comprising of over 30%².

Source: 1. World Health Organization, Depression Fact Sheet; World Health Organization, Investing in Treatment for Depression and Anxiety (2016) 2. IQVIA, ForecastLink Query Builder (Aug 2020)

EmpowerPharm has no association with the cannabis industry. We are a pharmaceutical company creating an approved oral solid dosage form therapy, utilizing synthetic CBD and no plant material.

Our Intent

We intend to address a need in the global medical community for a non-addictive treatment for anxiety disorders. Today, many patients suffering from these conditions are prescribed antidepressants, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics, which can all cause severe side effects. Benzodiazepines are known to be highly addictive. CBD is seen as a safer alternative treatment for such disorders; however, there is currently no prescription CBD tablet with 0% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. With EmpowerPharm’s prescription tablet, Empower CBD™, sufferers will have an alternative solution, which we anticipate to be widely distributed and accepted by the medical community, formularies, third-party insurers and government payers.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are primarily characterized by overwhelming anxiety and fear, and are among the most prevalent mental health disorders. They are typically chronic, last at least six months, and are likely to get progressively worse without treatment.

The cause of anxiety is most likely to include genetic, environmental, and brain chemistry factors. The most common pharmacological therapies include antidepressants, anxiolytics, benzodiazepines, and to a lesser extent antipsychotics and anticonvulsants as adjunct therapies. These solutions may result in a number of side effects such as addiction.

Our Facility

Our recently completed $30 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is GMP ready and awaits a Health Canada inspection.

We aim to become the first Canadian pharmaceutical company with a GMP facility dedicated to manufacturing prescription CBD products. Our facility is located in Burlington, Ontario.

Company News

Investor Relations

Please contact us for any investor
information using the form below.

Head Office

305 Milner Avenue, Suite 210
Toronto, Ontario,  M1B 3V4

T 416.291.2580