CLSA Bulletin

Congress Passes Tax Reform Legislation, Protecting Critical Orphan, R&D Tax Credits
On Dec. 20, Congress passed a sweeping overhaul of the tax code in the form of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While CLSA did not take a position on the overall legislation, we worked in close collaboration and coordination with BIO and our CLSA member companies to ensure that the Orphan Drug Tax Credit – a meaningful incentive for investment in rare disease therapy innovation – was preserved in the final bill passed by Congress. | READ MORE »
CLSA Hosts End Of Year Reception In DC, Celebrating Achievements In Life Sciences | READ MORE »
PhRMA Files Suit To Stop SB 17, New California Reporting Burdens Law | READ MORE »
CLSA Urging Congress To Repeal Medical Device Tax By Year’s End | READ MORE »
CLSA Hosts Congressional Briefing, Publishes Report To Raise Awareness Of IBD | READ MORE »

Los Angeles Take Back Legislation Rises Anew In 2018 | READ MORE »

Your Free Guide to Surviving JPM San Francisco 2018
The guide is the perfect accessory for navigating around San Francisco and getting the most out of the week, with insights into JPM Week 2018 concurrent events including Biotech Showcase and RESI, and predictions and advice from JPM Week veterans for conquering healthcare investing’s most impactful week of the year | READ MORE »
Fitbit Selected for National Institutes of Health (NIH) Precision Medicine Research Program with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) | READ MORE »
Security Of Patient Data During Research and Pilots Programs | READ MORE »
2017 Year in Review: Poised for Growth & Success | READ MORE »
FAST 2017 FAST Closing Showcase Celebrates Eight Companies | READ MORE »
FAST, Fellow and CARB-X Updates December | READ MORE »

Bio-Link Depot Grand Opening in Oakland| READ MORE »



California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


President’s Corner – CLSA Launches 2019 Industry Report, Brings Bio in the Capital to Sacramento, Convenes Meet & Greet for Mike Levin in DC, Hosts Record Crowd in San Diego, Supports Biotech Entrepreneurs at UCLA, Upgrades Power Purchasing Program; CLSI Partners with Canadian Technology Accelerator; Upcoming Events


By: Sara Radcliffe
CLSA President & CEO

November 28, 2018 



California Life Sciences Association Launches 2019 California Life Sciences Industry Report
On Nov. 14, CLSA released the 2019 California Life Sciences Industry Report, which shows that California’s life sciences sector directly employed 311,226 people, generated $178 billion in revenue, is projected to attract $7.6 billion in venture capital (VC) and received $3.9 billion in funding from the NIH. Produced with PwC US, the 2019 snapshot highlights the strength of California’s biomedical industry – the largest cluster in the world – as evidenced by significant increases in employment, earnings, graduating science and engineering PhDs, VC investment and potential drugs in the pipeline.  Download your copy here.


CLSA Brings Successful Bio in the Capital Mixer to Sacramento
CLSA’s Sacramento team was pleased to welcome nearly 100 guests to our inaugural BIO in the Capital at Urban Roots Brewery along with sponsors ALT, VWR,  Greater Sacramento Economic Council, and Corning Inc.  Life sciences executives mingled with policy and government relations professionals at our high-energy networking event.


CLSA Convenes Washington DC Meet & Greet with Representative-Elect Mike Levin
On Nov. 16, CLSA was honored to convene a Meet & Greet with Representative-elect Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano/San Diego) at our Washington, DC office. As you may know, attorney Mike Levin was elected Nov. 6 to serve as the new U.S. Representative for California’s 49th Congressional District.  He will replace retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista/San Diego) in the 116th Congress.  Read more here.


CLSA and VWR Host Largest Bio in the Brewery Ever in San Diego
More than 200 life sciences professionals turned out for CLSA’s Fall BIO in the Brewery on Oct. 25 at New English Brewing in Sorrento Valley.


CLSA & Lab Launch Host Biotech Connection Meeting at UCLA
One of CLSA’s key priorities is the support of life sciences innovation throughout the state.  On November 14, CLSA and strategic partner Lab Launch hosted the Biotech Connection meeting at UCLA for biotech entrepreneurs and post-doc graduate students to learn how to formulate an effective marketing pitch and funding strategy.


CLSA Adds and BioSpace to Power Purchasing Member Benefits
We are excited to announce we have added two new member benefits to our Power Purchasing program: connects buyers and sellers of research services to deliver faster science through an innovative approach to R&D. Find the best resources to support studies surrounding human biological samples, biomarkers, immunotherapy, protein engineering, molecular pharmacology, in vitro/ in vivo assays and over 3,000 additional areas.

BioSpace is the official recruitment marketing and branding partner of BIO Business Solutions® and the California Life Sciences Association, providing essential insights, opportunities and tools to connect the innovative organizations and talent professionals who advance health and quality of life across the globe.


California Life Sciences Institute Partners with Canadian Technology Accelerator to Deliver New Program
The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) has partnered with the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) San Francisco – Life Sciences to deliver a 16-week winter program that provides eight Canadian early-stage companies with customized mentorship and in-market programming to advance their commercialization strategies.  The San Francisco In Market Program kicked off on November 7-8 and will conclude with a Closing Program and Showcase in February 2019. For more information, contact

Upcoming Events

CLSA Members Receive $400 Discount on 2019 BIO Registration | Deadline January 18, 2019
Don’t miss your opportunity to lock in a significant discount on two premier registration packages for the 2019 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, June 3-6: Convention Access and Convention Access & Partnering.  Registration not necessary!  Simply click here to complete the form and receive your discount code.

 Johnson & Johnson Innovation Quick Pitch | Deadline to Apply: Dec. 7, 2018
To unearth the unseen and brightest innovations in healthcare, CLSA’s Sustaining Member Johnson & Johnson Innovation is launching a Quick Pitch event where innovators can apply to present to Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s leadership during the week of the 37th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, CA.  Need more details? You can find them here.



Sara Radcliffe

President & Chief Executive Officer
California Life Sciences Association

PS – Do you have newsworthy items to submit for consideration for our monthly CLSA Bulletin? Feel free to send those tips to Elizabeth Gibson (, CLSA’s Senior Director of Operations.

Congress Passes Tax Reform Legislation, Protecting Critical Orphan, R&D Tax Credits

Dec. 20, 2017

On Dec. 20, Congress passed a sweeping overhaul of the tax code in the form of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While CLSA did not take a position on the overall legislation, we did work in close collaboration and coordination with BIO and our CLSA member companies to ensure that the Orphan Drug Tax Credit – a meaningful incentive for investment in rare disease therapy innovation – was preserved in the final bill passed by Congress.

The California Congressional Delegation overwhelmingly opposed H.R. 1 when it was brought to the full House and Senate for a vote. In the House, the measures passed by a vote of 224 to 201. All present California Democrats voted against the bill (38 voted no, and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte) did not vote) with 2 Republicans, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), also voting against the bill. Overall, 12 House Republicans opposed the measure, including the aforementioned 2 from California. No House Democrats voted for the bill. In the Senate, H.R. 1 passed by a vote of 51 to 48. The vote fell along party lines, with all Republicans voting for the measure, and all Democrats voting against it. Both of California’s senators – Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D) and Kamala Harris (D) – opposed the measure. (Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not vote.)

The bill now goes to the President’s desk for signature, where it is expected to be signed into law before the end of the year.

By way of background, in November, both the House and Senate passed their respective versions of H.R. 1. Notably, the House-passed bill eliminated the Orphan Drug Tax Credit (ODTC). By contrast, the Senate-passed bill retained the ODTC, but at a significantly reduced rate of 27.5% in order to meet the revenue targets necessary to pass comprehensive tax reform. (Note: Section 45C of the Internal Revenue Code currently provides eligible drugmakers a tax credit of 50% of the qualified clinical testing expenses incurred in a taxable year with respect to drugs designated as “orphan drugs” by the FDA.)  Neither bill addressed the medical device tax, and both bills retained the R&D tax credit.

Over the past several months, CLSA has advocated vociferously for the Orphan Drug Tax Credit to be retained in the reformed tax code.  Most recently, we sent a letter to the only conference committee member from California, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia), urging that he support the protection of the ODTC in the Conference Report.  A copy of the letter we sent to him can be viewed here. CLSA also coordinated a California company sign-on letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) urging that the ODTC be included in the final tax reform package. Cosigned by 21 California companies invested in rare disease therapy innovation, a copy of that letter can be viewed here. We are pleased to see that our advocacy and engagement helped ensure the inclusion of a meaningful Orphan Drug Credit in the conference package. Click here to view the legislation.

It is worth noting that the R&D Tax Credit remains intact and was not altered by H.R. 1.  Another tax-related provision of interest, the medical device excise tax, was not addressed in H.R. 1. Click here for an update on our efforts to repeal the medical device tax.

Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations & Alliance Development (

CLSA Urging Congress to Repeal Medical Device Tax by Year’s End

Dec. 19, 2017

We are pleased to share that on Dec. 18, The Orange County Register published an op-ed from CLSA President & CEO Sara Radcliffe and CLSA Board Chairman Don Bobo (Corporate VP, Strategy & Corporate Development of Edwards Lifesciences), on the need for Congress to repeal the medical device tax. You can view the piece via the CLSA website, OC Register or on Twitter.

This month, Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Brady (R-Texas) introduced new legislation to provide a 5-year suspension of the medical device excise tax (H.R. 4617). The current suspension of the 2.3% medical device excise tax expires Dec. 31, 2017, and has not been addressed this year due to healthcare and tax reform packages taking all of the oxygen out of the room.

CLSA, along with our national medtech trade association partners AdvaMed and MDMA, remain committed to a full and permanent repeal of the medical device tax. This bill provides an immediate and long-term reprieve of the tax (which is otherwise set to reactivate in the new year), offering an important intermediary step toward full repeal. CLSA issued a statement on the release of H.R. 4617, supporting the bill and urging swift action before the end of the year. The full statement is available here.

We are hopeful the bill will be advanced prior to year’s end, potentially as part of a government funding bill or Continuing Resolution. CLSA continues to urge our delegation to act on at least a long-term suspension (if not full repeal) before year’s end. Our understanding is that House Leadership has indicated a commitment to address the tax in January, even though they are aware of the significant burden that will be placed on companies having to pay the tax in the interim (the tax will reactivate effective Jan. 1, 2018 and will be paid every two weeks by affected companies). We continue to press on our House delegation members for more urgent action, and at a minimum are asking members to urge leadership to make a public commitment that the tax will be addressed as soon as possible.

Click here to visit CLSA’s Digital Action Center to urge your member of Congress to scrap the medical device tax on innovation. Questions? Please contact Adam Lotspike, CLSA’s Associate Director of Federal Government Relations (

CLSA Hosts End of Year Reception in DC, Celebrating Achievements in Life Sciences

Dec. 16, 2017

On Dec. 6, CLSA hosted our annual End of Year Reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Over 150 guests attended the reception, including California Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D- San Fernando Valley), Jimmy Panetta (D-Monterey), Jackie Speier (D-South San Francisco), and David Valadao (R-Hanford), and staff from more than half of our California congressional delegation’s offices.

CLSA would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors for the generous support and making this event possible again this year:

Abbott, AbbVie, Amgen, Astellas, BioMarin, Celgene, Edwards Lifesciences, EMD Serono, Genentech, Gilead, Hogan Lovells, Horizon Pharma, McDermott+Consulting, Medtronic, Merck, Organogenesis, Retrophin, Shire, Vertex, VWR, W Strategies and BIO.

Click here to view more photos from the event.

Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development (

PhRMA Files Suit to Stop SB 17, New California Reporting Burdens Law

Dec. 15, 2017

On Dec. 8, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, seeking to have Senate Bill (SB) 17’s manufacturer reporting requirements declared unconstitutional and void.

Under SB 17, manufacturers will be required to provide a 60-day advance notice of any price increase on a drug to all California public agency purchasers, health insurers, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) if that drug’s price has increased 16 percent or more cumulatively over the previous two calendar years, including the current year’s increase.

California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) recently released its implementation plan for Senate Bill 17 (Hernandez), and the law’s advance notice provisions are set to take effect on January 1, 2018. Additional quarterly reporting by manufacturers to OSHPD would begin on January 1, 2019.

With the lawsuit, PhRMA seeks a permanent injunction from the Court to prevent the State from implementing or enforcing the law’s requirements related to manufacturer reporting and notices.

PhRMA’s complaint in the case states three central claims. First, SB 17 violates the Commerce Clause, which prohibits California from regulating out-of-state drug pricing. Second, it also violates the First Amendment by “compelling speech by manufacturers justifying their price changes.” Finally, it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause on account of unconstitutionally vague language. A copy of the Complaint is available here.

Much of the attention has been paid to the alleged violations of the Commerce Clause, which generally has been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to prohibit direct regulation of interstate commerce by a state. Thus, a central issue for the Court in the case going forward will be whether a 60-day advance notice of a change in a national list price is direct or incidental regulation of interstate commerce. PhRMA’s complaint argues it is direct regulation because, among other things, the notice effectively “imposes a 60-day nationwide ban on price increases,” which is analogous to other laws previously struck down by the Supreme Court.

CLSA and our industry partners will continue to engage the state regarding SB 17 implementation. As we continue to analyze the potential impacts of implementation on our industry, any members who would like further information on SB 17 or any other new California laws are encouraged to reach out to Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations ( or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (

Los Angeles Take Back Legislation Rises Anew in 2018

Dec. 14, 2017

After a relatively quiet year in the County of Los Angeles regarding proposed take back legislation, activity has begun to percolate this month. In December, the expected leadership change from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl as President of the Board for 2018 took place which foreshadows a potentially more aggressive Board in putting the issue on the County’s agenda.

The County Public Health Department released a report in mid-December evaluating the potential take back ordinance. The document gives an overview of the policy proposed, the status and implementation of other local ordinances over the last several years, comments from outside technical experts, concerns with the May 2017 California State Auditor’s Report, and recommendations to move forward with the ordinance.

This report has been sent to each of the Supervisors. While it is currently not on the agenda for any upcoming Board hearings, we do expect newly installed President Sheila Kuehl to move quickly on the item. There is also expectation the County’s EPR Working Group, which previously handled all items related to the legislation, will contact the stakeholders again soon as the County prepares its next steps forward in the new year.

CLSA has been at the forefront of this issue in Los Angeles ever since the County’s early stakeholder meetings held in 2015. CLSA has continued its coalition work with national organizations to collectively organize around the ongoing legislative, political, educational, and other activities on take back in Los Angeles. The coalition meets weekly to share information, discuss strategy, and consider industry comments. Throughout 2017, while the legislation was not directly before the Board, the coalition has worked on opportunities for further educational outreach to the Members, the larger community, and through organizing take back events to show that the legislation is not necessary.

For more information on the proposed legislation, CLSA’s on-the-ground initiatives in Los Angeles, the coalition’s plans, or any questions, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations (

CLSA Hosts Congressional Briefing, Publishes Report to Raise Awareness of IBD

Dec. 13, 2017

During Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week – recognized annually in the U.S. between Dec. 1-7, CLSA hosted a congressional briefing on Dec. 6, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, on “Enhancing Patient Access to Therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).”

More than 3 million Americans suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD),an umbrella term for two distinct conditions – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – both characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life and may impose tremendous public health burdens, including economic costs. There is currently no cure for IBD, and patients require chronic, long-term treatment. Major scientific advances within the fields of genetics, immunology, and microbiology have led to a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in IBD and an increase in the number of treatment options available for IBD patients.

CLSA’s informational briefing was an opportunity to for Members of Congress, their staff, and other stakeholders to hear from the patient’s perspective (Kate Detwiler – IBD Patient), issues that clinicians face in treating patients (Dr. Michael Weinstein – Gastroenterologist), and how Congress can help to improve access to necessary treatments (Laura Wingate – Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and Uthra Sundaram – Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA). The briefing also featured remarks from Reps. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Palm Desert) and Brad Wenstrup, MD (R-Ohio), who serve as cosponsors of H.R. 2077, Restoring the Patients’ Voice Act, and from Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pennsylvania), co-chair of the Crohn’s & Colitis Caucus.

To learn more about IBD and how Congress can help ensure patients receive access to necessary therapies, please check out our latest educational brochure, “Understanding IBD.” Questions? Please contact Adam Lotspike, CLSA’s Associate Director of Federal Government Relations (

Viva Biotech Partnering Reception – Seed and Early-Stage Biotech Investment

On Nov. 14th, 2018, Viva Biotech held its inaugural Partnering Reception in San Diego, one of the biotech hubs in the U.S, with SABPA being the event co-organizer. It was a hot ticket in the San Diego biotech community that had attracted more than 120 enthusiastic entrepreneurs, scientific and business leaders in the life science industry.

The event was chaired by Yinghong Gao, Viva Biotech’s US-based executive director of business development. Dr. Derek Ren, the president of Viva gave an excellent overview on Viva’s business model, focusing on early stage investment and incubation mechanism, which has great synergy with Viva’s early drug discovery service platforms. He also highlighted Viva Biotech’s leadership positions in the service areas of protein science, structural biology and ASMS screening, in addition to Viva’s medicinal chemistry and antibody discover platforms. Viva analyst Chloe Kamps then gave a very good introduction on the pre-screening and due diligence process of the potential investment opportunities, which had captured the audience attention.

Dr. Yimin Zou, Neurobiology Professor of University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and the founder of VersaPeutics then shared with the audience his very rewarding experience working with Viva that eventually led to the recent A round financing. The funding will allow VersaPeutics to take the technology licensed from UCSD for spinal cord injury to the clinical stage. The story would not have been complete without Dr. Ruben Flores’ sharing from a different perspective as the Director of Commercialization of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) of UCSD. Dr. Flores explained the importance of translating healthcare innovation from academia to industry and how his office has been able to increase the number of licensing deals in recent years. Dr. Richard Lin, Founder of Explora BioLabs and a board member of Biolabs, then provided his insights on the driving force and future outlook of the San Diego’s biotech startup ecosystem.

The fascinating stories presented by the speakers had sparked a lot of interest from the attendees with great audience participation during the Q&A and panel discussion, especially on how Viva Biotech differentiates from other biotech investment firms and incubators. Many entrepreneurs in the audience walked away being convinced that Viva Biotech’s business model is unique and sustainable, some are eager to submit their business plans to seek potential partnering opportunities with Viva. Through this reception, Viva Biotech hopes to be able to help more entrepreneurs realizing their dreams and to forge stronger partnerships with biotech startup communities in the southern California area in the future.

CLSA Selects Zuman as Exclusive Provider of HR, Payroll and Benefits Administration Services within CLSA’s Member2Member Program

Zuman to offer price discounts to CLSA Members generally and to those joining the CLSA Benefits Advantage Trust


Sacramento & San Francisco CA & Washington, DC (September
, 2018) – California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences industry, today announced that is has selected Zuman Inc. to be the sole and exclusive provider of human resource consulting, payroll and benefits administration services within CLSA’s Member2Member program.

Previously CLSA and HUB International (HUB) selected Zuman’s BenXsys software product to be the administration software for the CLSA Benefits Advantage Trust.  The Trust allows member companies to take part of a large pooled member network that offers higher guarantee issue amounts, increased benefit levels and exclusive premiums, regardless of member company size.

More information about Zuman’s offering for CLSA Members is available at


“We’re proud to name Zuman as the sole and exclusive provider of HR, payroll, compliance and benefits administration outsourcing services within our Member2Member program,” said CLSA President and CEO Sara Radcliffe. “We gained confidence in Zuman after we experienced their BenXsys product which is the administration software for the CLSA Benefits Advantage Trust.”


“Zuman is an extension of our clients’ internal teams,” said Zuman CEO Doug Devlin. “Executives at life science companies, especially, want to focus on recruiting, retention and policy, leaving the administration details to us.”


  • Learn moreabout the California life sciences industry
  • ViewCLSA’s Legislative Action Center
  • ViewCLSA’s Advocacy Priorities
  • Viewupcoming CLSA events

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn andYouTube.

About Zuman Inc.

Zuman helps companies with payroll, benefits administration, HR compliance and employee relations services.  Founded in 2012 by people with decades of experience in the industry, Zuman is an extension of its clients’ internal teams.  What makes Zuman unique is its “boutique” approach; unlike its larger competitors, Zuman assigns Client Success Managers with an average of 15+ years of experience in the industry to each client.  With offices in Pleasanton, CA and Frisco, TX, Zuman supports companies across the entire United States.  Visit Zuman at

Media Contacts:

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
Will Zasadny | Directoor, Communications | 619-961-8848

Zuman Inc.
Cary Rosenzweig | Chief Revenue Officer | 925-401-7643

California Life Sciences Association’s 3rd Anniversary Celebrations Draw Record Crowds in San Diego and South San Francisco

2018 marks the 3rd Anniversary since BayBio and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) joined forces to become California’s premier life sciences trade association. To celebrate this great milestone, we held two events in San Diego (July 11) and South San Francisco (July 17), to bring our members and California’s broader biomedical community together. We are so pleased that nearly 900 of you (a record!) joined us for two great evenings of networking, live music, excellent food, beer and wine, raffles and more.

On July 11, CLSA hosted our San Diego Anniversary & Open House celebration on the expansive back terrace of Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS.  Members and guests enjoyed local beer and wine from 32 North, Serpentine Cider and The Wine Militia, our favorite URBN Catering and Tacos El Gabacho food trucks, the Viscous Music band while learning more about CLSA and our partners.

In South San Francisco, CLSA hosted our second celebration on July 17 at our new office and Events Center.  Food trucks from El Sur Empanada and Opie’s GSB served hot food and members and guests enjoyed beer from Anchor Brewing and wines from Robert Hall while listening to music, networking and touring our new offices.

We would like to thank our members and the greater California life sciences community for your continued support of CLSA. Because of you, we are able to continue our 40-year legacy and ongoing mission of working closely with industry, government, academia and others throughout our great state to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy.

For more information about CLSA and membership, please contact our team.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

FAST, Fellow and CARB-X Updates February 2018

FAST & Fellows Round-Up


  • Inflammatix (FAST Fall 2017) announced findings from a new study published in Nature Communications that suggests sepsis can be detected by measuring the immune system Read More
  • Read interview with SciBac’s (FAST Fall 2016) CEO, Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder, Jeanette Mucha, who is designing live biotherapeutics to treat and prevent antibiotic resistant disease in the microbiome. Read More
  • Ligandal (FAST Spring 2016) unveils nanotech delivery for genetic therapies: What Good Would Amazon Be Without the Shipping? Read More
  • GigaGen (FAST Spring 2015) announced moving into new office space in South San Francisco to accommodate the company’s expanding research and development activities for 2018 and beyond. Read More

CARB-X Updates


  • Powered by CARB-X company, Entasis Therapeutics ranked highest among biotech companies in their contributions toward stewardship. Read More
  • Powered by CARB-X company, BugWorks’ is using advanced mathematical models and algorithms to design appropriate chemical compounds to attack resistant bacteria. Read More about their approach and other ‘Big Data’ techniques for antibiotic discovery.
  • Powered By CARB-X company, Debiopharm Group announced an investment in antibiotic development with acquisition of ABAC Therapeutics. Read More

Female Students and Women Professionals Network to Inspire Science Careers

Students and YWIB Volunteers at Speed Networking

Twenty female students from San Francisco high schools and community college networked with female industry professionals at an event coordinated by CLSI, Young Women in Bio, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and City College of San Francisco (CCSF). The Speed Networking event, held at Wallenberg High School in San Francisco, allowed female students the opportunity to directly interact with women professionals from BioMarin, Genentech, Nektar, UCSF and more.  In addition to being exposed to a diverse set of career roles and career stories, the students got to practice presenting their own experience and interests, and to hone the valuable skill of networking.

Students network with Joyce Nortey, Project Manager III, Nektar Therapeutics

Kayla Ko, a junior at Wallenberg high school stated that she valued “getting to know more about the many different fields and pathways that are available.” Her peer, Meron Andebrhan, added “It was so inspiring to see scientists who look like us. I feel like we are changing the world one by one.” Stephany Reeves, a Clinical Manufacturing Associate at BioMarin, when asked why she volunteered for the event, stated: “I can relate to girls who are not sure of what they want to do, and I know how effective it can be to meet and talk to someone like me.  I was in the same position, and these opportunities to meet people from industry were so helpful to me.”

Students network with Fiore Cattaruzza, Sr. Research Scientist II, Nektar Therapeutics

Kioma Palkhivata, a Data Analyst at Genentech added, “I was really impressed at how much thought these young women were giving to what they want to do.  I let them know that it’s ok if that changes, just be comfortable with who you are and about asking for help to get where you want to go.”

Young Women In Bio (YWIB), part of Women In Bio, is an inspiring program that organizes science events for young women, introducing them to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Institute Hosts First CLSI Women Life Sciences Executives Dinner

The California Life Sciences Institute hosted its first Women Life Sciences Executives Dinner on Thursday February 17 at The Workshop in San Francisco with renown Chef Nikole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions. Twenty women executives from established life science companies, FAST startups and investment firms participated in the dinner, which included a lively and substantive discussion on the topic of “Overcoming Unconscious Bias.” Gunderson Dettmer was the evening’s generous sponsor.

The highly-acclaimed dinners are designed to foster networking and peer-to-peer exchanges on key industry issues for women executives, and to create valuable connections and champions among women leaders.

If you are interested in hosting a future CLSI Women Executives Dinner, please contact Lori Lindburg at

Introducing the Spring 2018 FAST Companies

Six life science startups, vetted and selected by a distinguished review panel, have been selected for CLSI’s Spring 2018 Fellows All-Star Team (FAST) Advisory Program. The Spring 2018 FAST companies are: Abalone Bio, developing functional antibody therapeutics that block or activate membrane protein using proprietary Functional Antibody Selection Technology platform; Antibiotic Adjuvant, developing AI-empowered decision support delivered at the point of prescription to reduce and prevent antibiotic resistance; Atropos Therapeutics, developing an optimized combination therapy for cancer and novel therapeutics for aging based on cellular senescence; C. Light Technologies, developing an ultra-precision retinal eye-tracking device to empower doctors to detect neurodeficits; Melio, developing a rapid broad-based platform for pathogen profiling for sepsis in newborns; Valley Fever Solutions, developing a first in class new antifungal to treat valley fever.

 Each company founder will be paired with a team of 10 to 12 advisors who will meet with them over 12 weeks for one-hour advisory sessions. These meetings culminate in a final FAST Showcase in June to a broad audience of industry professionals, entrepreneurs and potential investors.

Halfway through its fifth year, FAST was developed to help some of the most innovative young life science companies FAST-track their way to funding and success. FAST’s 50 company graduates have received over 5500 advisory hours valued at over $1,200,000, have collectively raised $317 million and created 240 new jobs since their participation in FAST.

The FAST program draws on a high-level team of serial entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and business advisors with expertise in clinical development, regulatory, reimbursement, relevant technical R&D, finance, marketing and business development. The teams provide FAST entrepreneurs with intensive team review and coaching to perfect their business model and develop a compelling commercialization strategy.

Premium Members


Sustaining Members

AbbvieAlexandriaAllerganAmgenCedars SinaiCelgeneCodexisCymaBayCytomXDLA PiperDu PontEdwardsEYGenentechGileadHogan LovellsJohnson & JohnsonKPMGLatham & WatkinsLeerinkMerckNektarOncocyteOrganovoPfizerProteuspwcSt. Jude MedicalStanford UniversitySutroTakeda