2016 – CLSA Year in Review
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
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
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.
- CLSA was pleased to welcome 132 new members to our organization in 2016. Please extend a warm welcome to the most recent 32 new members who joined in November: Actavalon, Advanced Brain Monitoring, AirXpanders, Antibodies, Apros Therapeutics, Aspyrian Therapeutics, BioPrint Fitness, Cilixicon, Cytori Therapeutics, Atum (formerly DNA Twopointo), Epigen Biosciences, IGE Therapeutics, IGNITE Immunotherapy, INmune Bio, JP BioMedicals, Kaneka US Innovation Center, KorvaLabs, LA BioMed, Loop Genomics, Luminist, MedTree, Monserate Biotechnology Group, Naturogen, NeuroSave, Proxeom, Purigen Biosystems, SciAnalytical Strategies, SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Singular Genomics Systems, Spinnaker Biosciences, Watson BioLabs, Zytogenex USA. We are excited at the growth of our membership portfolio and the additional expertise and resources that each new organization brings to the CLSA network.
- In addition to opening our Los Angeles office, CLSA also established strategic partnerships – with LA BioMed and Lab Launch in Los Angeles, and OCTANe and the UC Irvine Applied Innovation Center in Orange County – to expand world-class life sciences innovation and resources in Southern California.
- Our members saved over $60 million through our partnership with VWR, our Business Solutions program and our Benefits Advantage Trust for life sciences employee benefits.
- In partnership with PwC, we released our annual California Life Sciences Industry Report, detailing key data points for the life sciences sector in California. Our report attracted a fair bit of notice in the press, including articles in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, MassDevice the San Diego Union-Tribune and more. If you haven’t yet done so, download your copy.
- We were thrilled to host more than 600 life sciences professionals at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco to celebrate our 13th Annual Pantheon Awards. We congratulate every one of our award winners, whose descriptions of their challenges, stories of the journey to success, and invitations to others to join their ranks are exhilarating and inspiring. I’d also like to thank each of our sponsors, our partners and the CLSA and CLSI team members who contributed to the success of this spectacular event. Click here to view the winners and learn more about #CLSAPantheon.
- 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 significant 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.
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, CLSA’s Associate, Marketing & Events (BLeveriza@CALifeSciences.org).