Bulletin, President's Corner

CLSA Hosts CDC Director for Discussion on Pandemic Preparedness, Q&A with PaxVax CEO on Emerging Viruses; Welcoming New CLSA Members

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

July 20, 2016 


Welcoming New Members

Please welcome our newest CLSA members: Amaryllis, Nucleics, BioINK, Cepheus Biosciences, Inc., Igantia, Rex Animal Health, SeaSpine, SyntheX, and Veracyte, Inc.!  These organizations join our 750+ membership portfolio to add significant expertise and resources to the CLSA network.

CDC Director Joins CLSA for July 28 Program

Afternoon with Thought LeadersOn July 28, we’re excited to be hosting our Annual Afternoon with Thought Leaders program in San Diego, with featured videoconference keynote, Dr. Tom Frieden,  Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program will focus on Pandemic Preparedness: The Public-Private Research and Response Infrastructure.

As current and past experience has demonstrated, effective and timely responses to emergent public health emergencies and pandemic threats – Ebola, H1N1, SARS, Zika, etc. – require the coordination and collaboration of numerous governmental public health agencies, non-profits, private industry and other important stakeholders.  Our program, will serve to examine these critical partnerships, how our nation’s pandemic preparedness and response infrastructure functions, and how it can be improved, including the role of industry. Our esteemed panel following our keynote includes: Dr. David Ecker, Divisional Vice President of Abbott, Quita Highsmith, Genentech Franchise Head of Tamiflu, Dr. Bill Lee, Executive Vice President, Research at Gilead, Dr. Rekha Murthy, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and moderator, Dr. Penny M. Heaton, Director of Vaccine Development and Surveillance at The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation. To RSVP or learn more, click here.

Following our Afternoon with Thought Leaders our third quarter CLSA Board Meeting will take place. Our Board members will discuss the current healthcare landscape and innovation in life sciences, and help shape CLSA’s agenda and organizational goals as we focus on our collective mission of helping grow and foster California’s world-leading life sciences sector. Our Board leaders and their respective organizations exemplify the depth and range of CLSA’s membership and what we stand for in advancing hope for patients and consumers in California, across our country, and around the world.

PaxVax CEO Nima Farzan sits down with CLSA for Q&A on Pandemic Preparedness

Nima Farzan, CEO & President, PaxVax
Nima Farzan, CEO & President, PaxVax

In recent years, a new round of terrifying viruses has emerged. Ebola, H1N1, SARS, Zika and other pathogens strike rapidly, may mutate without warning, and pose a major threat to public health.

As noted above, on July 28, CLSA will host a panel discussion in La Jolla, CA on Pandemic Preparedness: The Public-Private Research and Response Infrastructure, to examine how our nation’s pandemic preparedness and response infrastructure functions, and how it can be improved, including the role of industry. We recently chatted with PaxVax CEO Nima Farzan about how we can better unite government and industry to prepare for these dangers.

Click here to view CLSA’s discussion with PaxVax CEO Nima Farzan.

Update on Drug Pricing & Reporting Transparency Legislation in Sacramento

The legislative issue of “drug price transparency,” and the broader issue of prescription drug prices, continues to occupy center stage this year. Senate Bill (SB) 1010, authored by Senate Health Committee Chairman Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), is this year’s primary legislation in this area.

While the bill has been significantly amended to address many specific concerns raised by CLSA, we remain steadfastly opposed to the bill and are working to amend it further. The bill would still require a manufacturer to provide public and private payers with 60 days’ advance notification of any price increase of 10 percent or more, or three days’ advance notice if it intends to market a new drug that will cost more than $10,000 per course of treatment. The bill also requires manufacturers to participate in a public hearing to “justify” such increases or costs, and to report certain proprietary information to payers.

The bill moved through the Senate after being amended in an effort to address some of CLSA’s concerns. The Assembly Health Committee then heard the bill on June 29 and passed it on a 12-4 party line vote after a lengthy and spirited hearing of the bill that consumed much of the four-hour proceeding. While we were disappointed by the Committee’s action to advance the bill, CLSA remains confident that once all the facts are known about the bill, lawmakers will agree SB 1010 is the wrong prescription for California.

The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which will likely hear the bill in mid-August. During the recess, CLSA has been meeting with members of the Appropriations Committee in their home districts, while also refining and expanding our online social media campaign. Visit to view letters of concern and additional information on the pitfalls of SB 1010.

CLSA is Hiring!

We continue building our team to better serve California’s life sciences ecosystem. As the nation’s largest statewide public policy advocacy and business solutions organization, CLSA is expanding and seeking to fill the following positions:

Visit CLSA’s Career Opportunities center to learn more.

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

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 (