Ms. Karimah Es Sabar
Chief Executive Officer & Partner
Quark Venture LP
A highly-recognized Canadian life sciences leader with broad international experience, Karimah Es Sabar has had a successful career spanning global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, start-ups, not-for-profit organizations and venture investment firms. She has had decades of experience nurturing and building high impact teams and organizations. She has provided leadership in international marketing, business development, strategic alliances, global collaborations, public private partnerships, developing and executing innovation and translation strategies in the life science sector, building innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurship in startups, and in health tech venture investments. Over the course of her career she has raised over $1.2B for various private and public global biosciences enterprises.
In 2016 Ms. Es Sabar accepted the position of CEO & Partner at Quark Venture to lead and build their health sciences enterprise. Through a joint venture with GF Securities, a leading investment bank in China, the Global Health Sciences [GHS] Fund was established with operations headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and offices in Boston, Berkeley, Hong Kong and Chengdu. The diversified GHS Fund invests globally in companies with disruptive platforms and technologies in therapeutics, vaccines, medical devices, digital health, health AI and other novel converging technologies. Ms. Es Sabar is also Co-Founder and Chairman of GDCC China, a health technology company accelerator.
In 2009 Ms. Es Sabar joined The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, as Senior Vice-President, Business and Strategic Affairs, leading its business functions, and successfully building an array of national and international alliances and strategic industry partnerships. In 2012, she took on the role of President & CEO responsible for developing and executing on the overall strategic direction of the organization. Since Ms. Es Sabar joined CDRD, she enabled new public and private sector funding in excess of $180M, multiple commercial transactions including 6 spin out companies and a M&A with Zymeworks. She grew the organization with expanded national and international reach to include partnerships right across Canada and in 12 countries firmly establishing its reputation as one of the world’s leading pre-clinical translational research and commercialization centres. Ms. Es Sabar was also appointed Founding Chair of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres in 2013, an association of international peer organizations dedicated to translating health research into new medicines, the formation of which she spearheaded.
Ms. Es Sabar took on the role of leading BC Biotech in 2005, re-engineering and rebranding the organization to LifeSciences BC. As President & CEO, she led the organization to its greatest levels of success as a strong business development organization for the life science industry and the scientific research community. Prior to this Ms. Es Sabar has held senior management positions with multinational pharmaceutical companies, most notably as Director International Division, and later Head Marketing and Business Development at Pasteur Merieux Connaught [Sanofi Pasteur] based in Toronto, when she championed and successfully launched two first in class and first to market vaccine and biotherapeutic products. She also served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for a Vancouver based medical device company, Medsurge Medical Inc., and was the founder of two start-up companies in Kenya, both became leading organizations setting new standards in the marketing and distribution of biopharmaceutical products in the region.
Ms. Es Sabar continues to lend her leadership, knowledge and time to a number of organizations in the local, national and global life science communities as well as to public policy fora in Canada and internationally. She is also deeply committed to supporting philanthropy.
Current Board & Advisory appointments:
Past Board and Advisory appointments in organizations include:
Awards and Recognition:
Ms. Es Sabar holds an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management, a MSc degree in Neurochemistry from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, England, and a BSc Joint Honours degree in Biochemistry/Chemistry from the University of Salford, Manchester, England.