President's Corner

CALBIO 2015: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

California’s life science industry is a major economic driver for the state. It generates over 1 million jobs, continuously provides new innovations in health and has led the nation in NIH funding and venture capital for years. But the picture isn’t all rosy for the industry and pressures on today’s California life sciences companies, entrepreneurs and executive teams continue to mount.

The industry has long managed regulation uncertainties but increasing challenges with reimbursement, pricing pressures and how to navigate healthcare reform are building. The IPO window has improved the funding environment, but CEOs are still forced to build companies without clearly defined exits. And while they are constantly tweaking their R&D and innovation strategies, a major challenge for CEOs today is how to turn their discoveries into commercial realities.

To discuss how CEOs and entrepreneurs perceive and manage risk within the turbulent life science industry, CALBIO2015 offers a platform for industry leaders in California to share ideas ranging from science to business to global issues.

Here is a look at the content we are developing for attendees:

Strategy Focus
This track will look at the life science business fundamentals and what it takes today to build a successful biotech company in the rapidly evolving life science landscape, factoring in the new normal since the 2008 economic collapse. Discussions inside this track will explore how even successful, seasoned executives change their game, structuring a company to allow for future flexibility, and whether it is even possible to build a biotech company with a lasting legacy.

Partnering Focus
A new harsher environment forced health care players to think outside the box. New models have emerged for pharma to work with life science companies, academia and patient groups. This track will explore unconventional collaboration approaches with the aim of accelerating translational drug discovery.

Pricing and Reimbursement Focus
By drilling into one of the major hurdles our industry faces today – reimbursement – this track will directly connect life science executives with private, state and Federal decision makers. During the course of these sessions, we envision a frank and thoughtful discussion on the future of health care and the impact of reimbursement models on innovation, what next 5 – 10 years might hold for the life science and pharmaceutical industries and role of payers in patient access to new treatments.

Regulatory Focus
Winning FDA approval is a key milestone for many life science companies. Innovative regulatory approval strategies have helped them to leap from lab to bedside. FDA is experimenting too – with programs such as breakthrough designation and patient focused reviews. During this track attendees will engage with regulators and industry peers in a discussion of challenges and successes, dive deep into case studies, focus on the role of the FDA as it relates to patient access to new treatments and what future might hold for the biopharmaceutical industry.

Digital Health Focus
Consumers and payers are demanding a new generation of digital, connected healthcare, and California is in a unique position to take advantage of this revolution. The confluence of scientific, medical, engineering and wireless technology hubs – fueled by universities and independent institutes—is providing the ideal environment for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to start, support and grow successful companies. This track will include an all-star line-up of speakers who will spell out opportunities for life science and pharmaceutical companies.

Technology Focus
How creative new ways of thinking about disease can disrupt science, create new narrative for patients, alter regulator attitudes, life science business models and affect the world? How do you think big or go back to square one? To hear the answers, join California life science companies and key industry CEOs who share their thoughts and stories from the trenches.

If you’re interested in attending or learning more, visit