President's Corner

Paul Hastings Speech at Pantheon

BayBio would like to provide you with BayBio Chairman Paul Hastings’s speech at the 2010 Pantheon Ceremony:

When we started this event in 2004, our single most important goal was to foster a community – a community that would continue to build this life science cluster, would keep it alive and would keep it growing.

Let me tell you, as a CEO of an emerging company – I get it. We press ourselves to deliver only the best science, and to constantly improve our science, we worry about funding our future, spending every penny as if it were coming our of our own pocket,  and we ponder the ever-complicated regulatory environment that continues to get more complicated.

And we forget sometimes that we are not alone. All of us in this room face these issues together, as a community.
We can sometimes forget that if we stick together, if we speak with one voice… we can bring about positive change.

Right now, our industry is under a lot of pressure.

Despite all the talk about investment into innovation, until now the current administration has done little to support the biotech industry. The Therapeutic Tax Credit, whatever your opinion is about how it has been implemented, is a terrific start. At OncoMed we received $1.2MM and that’s real money for us, enough to fuel many new discovery programs! There are a number of excellent companies here tonight that will also receive this important source of capital.

But what we really need next is to get this program reauthorized. We will need your support and we will need to stick together – as a community – to make this happen. This program  didn’t just fall off the apple cart‚Ķ it took a lot of hard work, and the good news is that its champion, Senator Menendez of NJ, has been re-elected.

Just two days ago the voters of California went to the ballot box and overwhelmingly defeated propositions 23 and 24. Those of you who gave money, who wrote editorials, who went to Sacramento to educate policy makers about the groundbreaking work our industrial biotech companies are doing, about Net Operating Loss and Single Sales Factor provisions – this is a victory and a testament to what we can do as a community.

But we also must keep in mind that there will be other fights, other measures to support or to defeat. We need your support, we need your participation and commitment today, and for a long time to come. There will be no short term solutions. We need to stick together as a BayBio community.

Now when it comes to science education, California ranks 48th in student performance in science. That is unacceptable. California’s budget crisis has reduced funding for K through 12 education, community colleges and our university system. Jerry Brown has promised to reform the California education system and to increase funding for education. We, as a community, need to help him focus on that.

We can do that by going to Sacramento and talking to our representatives about this industry’s need for a highly educated workforce and our willingness to participate and to give back to our communities through BayBio Institute. Yes, we need your support and your company support.

We need your participation.

I believe that it is our responsibility to lead by example.

So at OncoMed – and through BayBio Institute – our scientists are actually teaching science at local public schools.

So what can we all do to help?

  • Support our life science association – become a BayBio member today and stick with us!
  • Participate in our trips to Washington, DC, to Sacramento and to our local officials. Help us educate lawmakers to promote biotech, job and growth-focused legislation.
  • Encourage our staff to join Bio-Community.org – to donate their time and money and to serve as role models to students, and help us build the next generation of life science professionals.

So, in closing, the community we bring together once a year for Pantheon ought to exist throughout the year. I know we can count on each other to do that.

Thank you so much again for coming out tonight, and please. Enjoy tonight’s excellent  program!