Bulletin, President's Corner, Spotlight

2016 – CLSA Year in Review

RETWritten By:
Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO
CLSA – California Life Sciences Association 

December 22, 2016

December is often a reflective time, as we close out one year and prepare for the next.  2016 was a year of hard work, surprising events and inspiring achievements, and the team at CLSA would like to share the key highlights of our year with you:


  • In Congress, more than two years of work to garner bi-partisan, bicameral support finally paid off this Fall with passage of the 21st
    Century Cures Act
    , a package of patient-centered reforms that will help propel research, investment and innovation in the life sciences. And CLSA’s DC-based team helped achieve near-unanimous support from across California’s 55-member delegation. Similarly, CLSA drove engagement with Congress on concerns over proposed Medicare Part B reimbursement cuts, introduction of ‘breakthrough’ medical device coverage and payment improvements, renewal of the FDA rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, and legislation to improve pandemic and biodefense preparedness.
  • In Sacramento, CLSA’s efforts – including an aggressive digital advocacy campaign – to defeat problematic mandatory drug
    Digital advertisement campaign example.

    price reporting legislation were successful. And as counties from the Bay Area to Los Angeles look to force manufacturers to take responsibility for all drug and sharps disposal programs, we’ve continued to lead the effort in developing a more appropriate statewide approach.

  • At events in Sacramento and Washington, DC, we recognized then-Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and Assemblymembers Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) and Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) and U.S. Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) and Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) for their leadership in supporting California’s innovative life sciences sector.
  • Our 2016 Life Sciences Academy in December was engaging and relevant, including a drug development and pricing simulation that legislators in attendance lauded as the most informative and insightful exercise and discussion they’d ever experienced.
  • CLSA’s political action committee (CLSA PAC) hosted more than two dozen events in support of California state legislators and candidates, ensuring the voice of the sector was heard as part of this year’s elections.
  • CLSA celebrated the end of the 114th Congress at our annual End
    Left to Right: Rep. Tony Cardenas; CLSA’s Todd Gillenwater; Rep. David Valadao; Rep. Ami Bera and CLSA’s Jenny Carey

    of Year Reception in Washington, DC, where more than 150 attendees, including Members of the California congressional delegation, staff and representatives of federal agencies such as the FDA and NIH, enjoyed an informal opportunity to discuss the importance of biomedical and life sciences innovation, scientific advancement in California and worldwide, and the priorities and challenges we’ll face in the year ahead.



  • Our non-profit partner, the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), was part of an international consortium that won the BARDA CARB-X grant, and now serves as the West Coast accelerator for combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR). With over $350 million committed to preclinical R&D, CARB-X is the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted to addressing this critical threat to global public health.
  • The FAST Fall 2016 Showcase and Celebration recognized 4significant milestones for the Institute’s 3.5-year-old FAST accelerator before an audience of more than 200 attendees at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera in the War Memorial Veterans Building in San Francisco on December 13. Over 160 advisors have supported 34 FAST companies, who have gone on to raise more than $130 million and double their workforce (125 new jobs) since graduating from FAST. The Showcase also celebrated plans to expand FAST to other parts of the state in 2017, aided in part by a Small Business Administration (SBA) grant.

As we look back on the growth and milestones CLSA achieved this year, we are both exhilarated and well-prepared to move forward into 2017 in support of our members and the entire life sciences community.

Be sure to stay connected with us at, and follow us @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Happy Holidays!
Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO
California Life Sciences Association

PS – Have newsworthy items to submit for consideration for our monthly CLSA Bulletin? Feel free to send those tips to Bianca Leveriza, CLSAs Associate, Marketing & Events (