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CLSA Bulletin

ADVOCACY
CLSA Successfully Leads Effort To Defeat Bill Restricting Doctor-Industry Interactions
On Sept. 11, Senate Bill 790 (McGuire) was placed on the inactive file, meaning that, while the bill is dead for this year, it will be eligible to be heard again once the legislature reconvenes in early January 2018.  | READ MORE »
Robert Califf Weighs In On FDA, Big Data And Public Health At CLSA Program  | READ MORE »
CLSA Joins The Rally For Medical Research To Support Biomedical Research Funding  | READ MORE »

Bill Mandating State Reporting By Drug Makers Heads To Governor | READ MORE »

Sonoma County Takes On Take Back | READ MORE »

MEMBER NEWS & PROFILES
BioBlocks adds Leap-to-Lead™ platform to its Drug Discovery arsenal
After 10 years of developing leads for clients at BioBlocks, we have created the Leap-to-Lead™ platform to offer improved Lead Discovery outcomes. | READ MORE »
Fall 2017 JLABS San Diego Events | READ MORE »
INSTITUTE
CLSI and SENS Research Foundation Launch Rejuvenation Biology Collaboration | READ MORE »
CARB-X Updates | READ MORE »
FAST & Fellows Round-Up | READ MORE »


Genentech Science Garage 
| READ MORE »

SEPTEMBER 2017

ABOUT 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 www.califesciences.org, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Join CLSA

Don’t Miss the 14th Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards – Friday, November 10, 2017

September 26, 2017

Each year the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), recognizes and honors excellence as it brings together the leaders and luminaries of California’s Life Sciences for our Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards Ceremony. CLSA’s most spectacular event gathers our community for one evening to reflect on the legacy and the future of our sector and celebrate the contributions of California’s leading life sciences innovators.

The Pantheon Awards program, now in its 14th year, brings together more than 600 industry pioneers – including innovators, thought leaders, investors and educators – and recognizes the excellence of the individuals and organizations responsible for the achievements and strength of California’s life sciences community, a sector which employs nearly 300,000 Californians at over 3,000 life sciences companies.

At the 14th Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards, CLSA is thrilled to announce the following categories and celebrate this year’s winners:

  • Life Sciences Leadership Awards:
  • Jay Flatley, Executive Chairman, Illumina
  • John Martin, Ph.D., Executive Chairman, Gilead Sciences
  • Outstanding Company Award:
  • AbbVie
  • Outstanding Product Award, Therapeutic:
  • Neurocrine Biosciences, INGREZZA
  • Outstanding Product, Medical Device/Diagnostic:
  • Medtronic, MiniMed 670G System
  • Digital Health Innovation Award:
  • Omada Health
  • Rising Star Award:
  • Second Genome
  • Biotechnology Educator Award:
  • Gladstone Institutes PUMAS Program

“California’s life sciences industry is delivering incredible value for the people of the Golden State and patients around the world. The recipients of the 2017 Pantheon Awards are some of California’s hardest working innovators and entrepreneurs who are producing the most advanced medicines, diagnostics and technologies to improve medical care,” said Sara Radcliffe, President and CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). “As the trade association representing this ecosystem, we look forward to bringing the sector together on Nov. 10 for the 2017 CLSA Pantheon DiNA Awards to celebrate the great leaders – both individuals and companies – that have made extraordinary contributions to the California life sciences community this year.”

This year’s ceremony will be held at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco on November 10, 2017.  You are cordially invited to join CLSA and more than 600 life sciences professionals as we celebrate the impact and achievements of our community.  Ticketing, event and sponsorship information is available at www.clsapantheon.org.

Pantheon 2017, Evening with Thought Leaders with Dr. Robert Califf, Rally for Medical Research, Welcome to 10 New CLSA Members, CLSI & SENS Rejuvenation Biotechnology Forum, 2017 CARB-X Report, Don’t Miss the 2017 BIO Investor Forum, and CLSA Keeps Growing!

RETBy: Sara Radcliffe
CLSA President & CEO

 

September 25, 2017 

 

pantheon website

Don’t Miss CLSA’s Most Spectacular Event of the Year  

On November 10, we will gather with more than 600 professionals from our California life sciences community to celebrate another year of leadership, innovation, and excellence at CLSA’s signature event – the 14th Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate with us! Limited sponsorships and tables are still available. Contact us to attend or learn more here.

 

Evening with Thought Leaders with Dr. Robert Califf

CLSA was greatly honored to welcome Dr. Robert Califf as the keynote speaker at our recent Evening with Thought Leaders in Los Angeles. Dr. Califf has had an extraordinarily impressive career as a cardiologist, Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and now as a researcher with Duke University and adviser at Verily, an Alphabet company.  Dr. Califf spoke to a packed house about his past experience with the FDA, as well as his new roles with Duke and Verily, which are giving him a unique opportunity to use Big Data to find solutions to pressing health problems.  Learn more here.

 

CLSA Rallies to Support Medical Research

As we have every year since its inception, CLSA participated in the 4th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. With more than 300 organizational partners, the Rally brought together a broad coalition of stakeholders, including medical researchers, scientists, innovators, and patient advocates from all over the country. On September 15, more than 350 participants from over 40 states met with a total of 243 Members of Congress and their staff.  CLSA’s DC office led groups of advocates to meet with the offices of Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley), Darrell Issa (R-Vista), Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Scott Peters (D-San Diego) and Jackie Speier (D-Menlo Park). Earlier this year, CLSA was instrumental in securing a total of 35 members of the California delegation (32 Democrats and 3 Republicans) as cosigners of a bipartisan House letter in support of $36 billion for NIH in the FY18 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill. We will continue to engage the delegation on the importance of robust, predictable and sustained funding for NIH, and continued investment to spur innovation and save more lives.

 

CLSA Welcome 10 New Members in July

Please join us in welcoming the 10 new CLSA members who joined us in the last month:

Distributed Bio, Bay City Capital, Manex Consulting, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Impossible Foods, Culture Robotics, Psynthesys Inc., Synergys Biotherapeutics Inc., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.  Our membership portfolio grows ever more robust with the addition of these organizations, which add significantly to the expertise and resources available in the CLSA network.

 

SENS CEO Michael Kope

CLSI Joins forces with SENS Research Foundation on Rejuvenation Biotechnology Showcase

On September 11, 2017, the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) and SENS Research Foundation (SRF) held the first “Rejuvenation Biotechnology Showcase” at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center with over 100 persons in attendance. SRF and CLSI plan to seize on the significant interest generated in this launch event to embark on additional collaborations designed to highlight innovation in the rejuvenation biotechnology field.

 

CARB-X Publishes its first Annual Report

In other Institute news, the CARB-X accelerator for combatting anti-microbial resistance has published its first annual report, highlighting a pipeline of 18 promising research projects with 8 new classes of antibiotics to treat the most urgent drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria. CLSI is a partner and accelerator for CARB-X.

 

CLSA Events

Join CLSA for BIO on the Bay

Need an excuse to leave the office and socialize with 200+ life sciences professionals?  Join CLSA and our hosts ARE and VWR for happy hour on October 5th from 5-7pm.  Special thanks to our partner Alexandria Real Estate for providing the beautiful venue at STEM Kitchen! Learn more and register here.

Last Chance for Discounted Pricing at the 2017 BIO Investor Forum

The 16th annual BIO Investor Forum (Oct. 17-18 in San Francisco) is the most influential independent investor event for early-stage biotechs seeking new funding sources. This year’s event will host more than 175 healthcare venture capital and public market investors and more than 600 business development executives from leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  CLSA Fellows members, contact us before September 29 to access your discounted pricing! Register or learn more here.

 

CLSA Is Still Growing

We’re excited to welcome more new employees to the CLSA family this month:

Alan Kissick, Director of Programs & Sponsorship

Alan Kissick joined CLSA in August 2017 as the Director of Programs & Sponsorship after relocating from Washington, DC.  Alan leads the strategy and thought leadership related to CLSA’s roster of programs and events and serves as the main point of contact for CLSA’s sponsorship platforms. Before joining CLSA, Alan directed business development and special events for advocacy organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, International Diabetes Federation and the American Diabetes Association. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Northeastern University in Boston.

 

Regards,

Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO
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 (EGibson@califesciences.org), CLSA’s Senior Director of Marketing & Programs.

 

 

Robert Califf weighs in on FDA, Big Data and Public Health at CLSA Program

Former FDA director keynotes CLSA’s Evening With Thought Leaders Event
Sept. 22, 2017

By Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

CLSA was greatly honored to welcome Dr. Robert Califf as the keynote speaker at our recent Evening with Thought Leaders in Los Angeles. Dr. Califf has had an extraordinarily impressive career as a cardiologist, Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and now as a researcher with Duke University and adviser at Verily, an Alphabet company.

Dr. Califf began with an overview of FDA, stating that the Agency regulates 20 percent of the economy, half of that through its oversight of the nation’s food. He described the gradual expansion of the FDA’s role over time, and some of the public health crises which sparked that expansion, such the birth defects which resulted from the use of thalidomide during pregnancy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He noted that FDA is asked to do tremendous amount with a relatively thin budget, and CLSA agrees; our association has been a strong advocate for increased FDA funding for many years.

Dr. Califf also remarked on the Agency’s recent focus on patient-centered drug development.  In particular, he mentioned the Agency’s efforts to incorporate patient and caregiver perspectives into its decision-making. He credited patient advocacy groups – such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — for funding research that will lead to new treatments and collaborating closely with the FDA to move these treatments through the pipeline.

In addition, he observed that manufacturers are increasingly engaging with patient communities to design better products and therapies that meet the needs of the communities they are intended to serve.

“Even the smartest engineering does not always generate usable products. It makes a lot of sense to ask people who have a problem what they need.” 

Dr. Califf also expressed his concern that many clinical trials are conducted in an “unreal world.” In other words, the demographic profile of the trial participants sometimes does not represent the real-world population that will use the drug. He pointed to personal devices, electronic health records and other big data sources as possible ways to expand clinical trial recruitment and improve care.

“We are in a revolution in our evidence-generating systems,” said Dr. Califf. 

Dr. Califf then segued to his new roles with Duke and Verily, which are giving him a unique opportunity to use Big Data to find solutions to pressing health problems. He expressed a particular interest in ameliorating economic, race- and geography-based health disparities.

“Look at the university towns in North Carolina,” he said, “tremendous health, people are … running, they look good. You go two counties away, and you have an enormous opioid epidemic, depression, cardiometabolic disease – it’s going the wrong direction.”

Dr. Califf spoke at length about how technology can be a force for good. For example, he highlighted a new feature recently launched by Google, that provides a referral to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the top of the search page any time a user searches for information that might indicate an intent to commit suicide.

He also referenced Verily’s Debug Project, a program to scale the sterile insect technique to reduce the number of invasive, disease-carrying mosquitoes in target areas. The project focuses on Aedes aegypti which can transmit dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Dr. Califf also spoke about the promise of machine learning, noting that that because every procedure in robotic surgery is recorded, there is a tremendous potential to mine the recorded information to improve outcomes.

“The ability to compile everything from genes to social behavior – and everything in between – and analyze it is going to be revolutionary,” said Dr. Califf. “Both for healthcare and medical product development.”

To learn more about upcoming CLSA events and thought leadership, click here.

About Evening with Thought Leaders

CLSA members & non-members alike have come to rely on this program as a way to stay current on trends in the biomedical industry and get fresh insights from key opinion leaders on policy, economics, business and society. Past speakers have included Former Secretary of State and Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, George P. Schultz, the Dean of Scripps School of Medicine and author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Dr. Eric Topol, and the Distinguished Professor, from the UC San Diego Stem Cell program, Dr. Larry Goldstein.

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 www.califesciences.org, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

CLSA Successfully Leads Effort to Defeat Bill Restricting Doctor-Industry Interactions

Sept. 19, 2017

On Sept. 11, Senate Bill 790 (McGuire) was placed on the inactive file, meaning that, while the bill is dead for this year, it will be eligible to be heard again once the legislature reconvenes in early January 2018.

SB 790 would have restricted all “gifts,” as defined, from manufacturers to physicians unless it fell under one of many, often confusing, exceptions. For instance, meals were either permitted or restricted in an education context depending on various circumstances, while “coffee or other snacks or refreshments” served at a booth were broadly exempt. Furthermore, while many expenses associated with “research projects” or clinical trials were permitted, questions remained around the status of many more associated activities, such as equipment loans and allowing free use of lab space. It was also unclear the extent to which activities performed under a “Compassionate Use” Investigational New Drug (IND) application would be permitted.

CLSA served as the lead for our industry on advocating against SB 790, and, in addition to lobbying in the Capitol, CLSA spearheaded an aggressive letter-writing campaign that resulted in over 450 letters from constituents to members of the legislature, urging opposition to the measure.

We anticipate the bill will return next year, though it is unclear how similar that bill will be to the final version of SB 790 on the record, though substantial amendments beyond that version of the bill were discussed prior to the close of the legislative session.

CLSA will continue to aggressively oppose this legislation and coordinate with fellow stakeholders both within and outside of the industry in doing so. Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (BJohnson@califesciences.org).

Bill Mandating State Reporting by Drug Makers Heads to Governor

Sept. 18, 2017

Despite the best efforts of CLSA and its partner trade associations, Senate Bill 17 (Hernandez) has reached the Governor’s desk. Gov. Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill for it to become law. If it’s signed, the advance notice requirements, as discussed below, would become effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

SB 17 would require, among many other things, industry 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 (PBM) if that drug’s price has increased 16 percent or more cumulatively over the previous two calendar years, including the current year’s increase. In other words, if a company has increased the price of a 6 percent in 2016 and 7 percent in 2017, then it would have to provide a 60-day advance notice on any 2018 price increase that would account for the additional 3 percent needed to reach the 16 percent reporting threshold.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, on the effective date of any price increase triggering the advance notice, the drug’s manufacturer would have to submit a host of information to the state, though the bill would allow the manufacture to withhold any information not “otherwise in the public domain or publicly available.” The information reported would then be posted publicly by the state in a manner that allows for identification of the individual drugs.

Though the bill appeared to stall after initially being put up for a vote in the Assembly, the bill quickly reached the 41 votes needed when being put back up for a vote, passing off the Assembly floor by a vote of 66-9. In a breach of Assembly decorum, its passage was accompanied by applause and several cheers from the Assembly floor. On Senate concurrence for the most recent amendments, the bill was sent to the Governor by a vote of 32-8.

CLSA continues to oppose the bill and has submitted a request to the Governor that the bill be vetoed, but we are anticipating that he will sign the bill into law. We also plan to organize a letter-writing effort for small company members. Visit www.ProtectAccessAndInnovation.org to see how patients, small businesses and life science innovators are speaking out against SB 17.

Finally, we are continuing to analyze the potential impacts of implementation of the bill on our industry, and any members who would like further information on this or anything else related to SB 17 are encourage to reach out to Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (BJohnson@califesciences.org) or Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Affairs (orocroi@califesciences.org).

CLSA Joins the Rally for Medical Research to Support Biomedical Research Funding

Sept. 15, 2017

Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President, Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development & Adam Lotspoke, CLSA’s Associate Director, Federal Government Relations, join other biomedical research advocates in meeting with Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) during the 4th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day.

This September, CLSA participated in the 4th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day. The rally, comprised of over 300 organizational partners, brings together a broad coalition of stakeholders, including medical researchers, scientists, innovators, and patient advocates from all over the country. This year’s rally consisted of over 350 participants from over 40 states meeting with a total of 243 Members of Congress and their staff.  CLSA has been proud to have been a part of the Rally since its inception.

The goal of the Rally for Medical Research is to convey the importance of protecting, supporting, and supplementing funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and to continue efforts to make funding biomedical research a national priority. The current FY 2018 appropriations package includes an additional $2 billion for NIH, bringing the total funding to $36.1 billion. Rally participants asked Congress to ensure this funding is included in the final bill.

CLSA’s DC office led groups of advocates to meet with the offices of Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) & Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley), Darrell Issa (R-Vista ), Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco ), Scott Peters (D-San Diego) & Jackie Speier (D-Menlo Park). Earlier this year, CLSA was instrumental in securing a total of 35 members of the California delegation (32 Democrats and 3 Republicans) as cosigners of  a bipartisan House letter in support of $36 billion for NIH in the FY18 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill. We will continue to engage the delegation on the importance of robust, predictable and sustained funding for NIH, and continued investment to spur innovation and save more lives.

Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development (jcarey@califesciences.org).

Sonoma County Takes on Take Back

Sept. 14, 2017

On Sept. 12, the Sonoma Board of Supervisors held a new hearing on take back ordinance options for the County. At the Board’s last hearing on the subject in October of 2016, it had directed staff to begin drafting an ordinance for drug take back while also researching the potential need and possibility of including the disposal of sharps into the legislation.

The County staff then toured every locality throughout 2017 to promote extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the County’s pursuit of an ordinance. At the end of that process, staff determined there was unanimous support for overall drug take back legislation and a strong consensus for the inclusion of sharps. Of note, while all Cities in the County supported an ordinance on drug disposal generally, the City Council of Santa Rosa took a strong position against the possible addition of sharps disposal in any legislation.

During this month’s hearing before the Board, County Health Officer Karen Milman gave an update on the drafting process and an overview of the community discussions. She then sought direction on next steps for staff from the Board while providing a recommendation for the pursuit of take back legislation which included sharps.

While no formal vote was taken at the Board meeting, the Board gave its direction through a straw poll of its Members. This straw poll of 3-2 directed staff to move forward in drafting an ordinance and to include both the disposal of drugs and sharps. Of the 2 minority votes, both were interested in a drug take back ordinance, while one was interested in supporting the sharps inclusion but asked for more data to support the sharps inclusion. The staff stated they would bring more data and a draft ordinance including both drugs and sharps to the Board in the near future.

CLSA testified before the Board on behalf of our industry’s perspective and to clear up several misstatements made by the County.

CLSA will continue to be at the forefront in Sonoma County and anywhere these local discussions occur. For more information, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations ( risbell@califesciences.org).

BioBlocks adds Leap-to-Lead™ platform to its Drug Discovery arsenal

BioBlocksAfter 10 years of developing leads for clients at BioBlocks, we have created the Leap-to-Lead™ platform to offer improved Lead Discovery outcomes. The platform includes the following three components:

  • Tools for property based optimization
  • Comprehensive Fragment Library: BioBlocks’ proprietary next generation 3D fragment library
  • Syntheverse™: Reaction-based access to currently synthesizable compounds

This technology enables our partners to advance their drug discovery programs by providing the following benefits:

  • Gain a head start on IP by accessing novel, 3D structures
  • Practice the art of the possible: discover a lead in the synthetically accessible universe of compounds
  • Revisit patent strategy by replacing common building blocks with new sizes and shapes

BioBlocks is currently seeking collaborations that can take advantage of the platforms’ lead generation potential. Please visit the technology page on our website to see our current successes.

Leap-to-Lead™ Platform

BioBlocks provides medicinal chemistry services, technology and products to help our pharmaceutical customers accelerate their drug discovery programs. We unite our medicinal chemistry expertise, a cutting edge proprietary fragment library and the comprehensive search capability of our Syntheverse™ chemistry space to empower our clients to generate high quality clinical candidates with favorable pharmaceutical properties and IP positions. BioBlocks is a US company maintaining offices and laboratories in San Diego, California and Budapest, Hungary.

Visit www.bioblocks.com.

Fall 2017 JLABS San Diego Events

 September 27 :: Capturing the Data: Improving Patient Outcomes 3:00-5:00pm :: Register Here

Could the advancement of new technologies leveraging data and analytics hold the key to transforming healthcare into a more patient centric and cost efficient model? Startups are innovating in areas such as data aggregation, risk stratification, outcomes reporting and even staffing standardization – all of which have the end goal of putting more focus on enhancing patient care. The progression of the value-for-service model has also sparked development of data driven solutions capable of demonstrating improvements in patient outcomes. The role of data in patient care is expanding in so many ways – come hear players in the field discuss trends, potential impact, challenges and more.

October 5 :: Meet with…MPM Capital 12:30-5:00pm :: Register Here

MPM Capital is looking for leading scientific research that addresses unmet medical needs across therapeutic areas. MPM is no stranger to Johnson and Johnson Innovation, JLABS, with investments that recently helped 3 Bay Area JLABS companies reach the next level. MPM is now investing two funds, BV2014, a $400M fund focusing on early stage companies developing therapies for unmet medical needs (Series A and earlier), and the Oncology Impact Fun, a $470M fund that invests solely in oncology companies of any stage (therapeutics only – no diagnostics). Companies must have applied for a one-on-one meeting ahead of time and been approved, applications are due September 1st. 

 

November 15 :: Excited About Your Story: Tell it like a TED Pro 9:30am-12:45pm :: Register Here

Learn inclusive business strategies on how to unleash your own innate powers and have others be excited about your story from a world famous, best communications and leadership trainer, John Bates. Bates will cover topics in this session including: why the ability to tell a compelling story is essential for startups, 5 elements of a strategic story, strategies for pitching in front of various audiences: clinical vs non-clinical vs investors, and how to embed storytelling into all aspects of your business and pitches.

CLSI and SENS Research Foundation Launch Rejuvenation Biology Collaboration

SENS CEO Michael Kope

On September 11, 2017, the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) and SENS Research Foundation (SRF) held the first “Rejuvenation Biotechnology Showcase” at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center with over 100 persons in attendance. The evening included a snapshot of technologies at SRF as well as presentations from four FAST graduate companies whose technologies hold promise for addressing age-related disease.

The origins of the Showcase stem back to 2009 when SRF was launched to promote a rejuvenation biotechnology industry, sponsoring projects to assess changes that accrue at the cellular and molecular level as we age, and to develop interventions to remove damage, restore function, and thereby prevent disease.  This is a “damage repair” strategy that applies the principles of regenerative medicine against aging, though SRF’s projects are broader than the stem cell and tissue engineering technologies that are typically associated with regenerative medicine. What began as support for a small number of basic research programs has expanded into backing for a variety of applied research programs.

In addition to opening remarks by Mike Kope, CEO of the SENS Research Foundation, and CLSI CEO & President, Lori Lindburg, the Showcase featured the following SENS researchers: Judy Campisi (Buck Institute), who presented on “Killing Dysfunctional Cells,” which looks at genetic techniques for eliminating unwanted cells and rejuvenating the immune system;  Matthew O’Connor’s (SRF) presentation on “Engineering New Mitochondrial Genes to Restore Mitochondrial Function,” a novel approach to therapy for mitochondrial disease; Haroldo Silva’s discussion of “ALTerran,” a company developing unique therapeutics targeting ALT cancers and evaluating ALT cancer patients; Matthew Scholz’s discussion of Oisin Biotechnologies’ development of a highly precise, DNA-targeted intervention to clear senescent cells to reduce the negative effects of aging; and David Speigel (Yale University), who presented on “Glucosepane Crosslinks and Routes to Cleavage,” the Spiegel lab’s strategy for removing glucosepane crosslinks in an effort to restore damaged tissues to a youthful state.

Further along the rejuvenation biology pathway, the four FAST company presentations included: HepaTx (Spring 2017) CEO, Erick Schuur’s discussion of cell therapies to replace liver transplant as a treatment for liver failure; SciBac (Fall 2016) CEO, Jeanette Mucha’s presentation on SciBac’s revolutionary live biotherapeutics that treat and prevent antibiotic resistant disease; SyntheX (Fall 2016) CEO Maria Soloveychik’s discussion of SyntheX’s disruption of cellular communication pathways to target proteins that are inaccessible via canonical screening technologies;  and Eidos (Spring 2016) CEO Isabella Graef’s presentation on the company’s development of a novel therapeutic that addresses the root cause of transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis, a slowly progressive condition characterized by the buildup of abnormal deposits of amyloid proteins in the body’s organs and tissues.

SRF and CLSI plan to seize on the significant interest generated in this launch event to embark on additional collaborations designed to highlight innovation in the rejuvenation biotechnology field.

About SENS Research Foundation

SENS Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that is transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease. The research we fund at universities around the world and at our own Research Center uses regenerative medicine to repair the damage underlying the diseases of aging. Our goal is to help build the industry that will cure these diseases.

CARB-X Updates

September 2017

Read the latest of CARB-X:

  • CARB-X publishes first annual report. Highlighting its pipeline of 18 promising research projects with 8 new classes of antibiotics to treat the most urgent drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria. Read More
  • CARB-XED, GARDP, ASM, and ESCMID hosted Antibiotic Bootcamps at ASM-ESCMID conference on antibiotic R&D Read More
  • CARB-X-funded Proteus IRC’s device can see through the human body Read more
  • Powered by CARB-X company Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals announces submission and validation of IV Eravacycline Marketing Authorization Application for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infection Read More
  • Powered by CARB-X company Forge Therapeutics and its strategic alliance partner Evotec present preclinical efficacy data on Forge’s LpxC antibiotic program at the 2017 ASM/ESCMID Conference Read More
  • Entasis announces $31.9 million extension of Series B financing to advance the company’s programs to treat multidrug-resistant gram-negative infections Read More
  • The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), which just received €56.6M of funding from six EU countries, the Wellcome Trust and South Africa, are planning to collaborate with CARB-X to work on breaking antibiotic resistance Read More

FAST & Fellows Round Up

September 2017

Read the latest in FAST and Fellows news:

  • GigaGen (FAST Spring 2015) studies published in peer-reviewed journal mAbs, on validating its novel monoclonal antibody discovery approach in mouse and human antibody repertoires Read More
  • Former CLSA Fellow Alzeca, which is developing an imaging agent to help doctors detect Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stages, announced it has raised $11 million in a Series A round of funding Read More
  • Former CLSA Fellow Notable Labs, raises $10 million Series A financing to advance personalized cancer treatments Read More
  • Current Fall 2017 FAST company Siolta Therapeutics chosen as J&J Innovation’s Quick Fire Challenge winner for Bugs, Drugs, and Beyond
  • FAST Grad Paragon Genomics (Spring 2016) raises $8M in Series A funding Read More
  • Vanguard Therapeutics (FAST Spring 2015) was just awarded a second $2M Phase-II SBIR grant

To learn more about the CLSA Fellows program – the significantly discounted membership for life science startups – click here.

About FAST

The FAST (Fellows All-Star Team) Accelerator provides select entrepreneurs with intensive team review and coaching to perfect their business model, product development plans, and to build a compelling commercialization strategy. Experienced entrepreneurs, product and business experts (which may include clinical development, regulatory, reimbursement, and business development specialists) will advise selected Fellows during a ten-to-twelve week program, culminating in a Final FAST Showcase to a broad audience that includes potential investors and partners.

Genentech Science Garage Ribbon-Cutting

Genentech CEO Bill Anderson at Science Garage ribbon-cutting

Genentech CEO Bill Anderson, South San Francisco Mayor Pradeep Gupta, SSFUSD school officials, Genentech volunteers, students and community supporters were on hand Tuesday September 5th at South San Francisco High School for the ribbon-cutting of the new Science Garage. The 6,900 square-foot state-of-the-art lab and classroom – part of a $7.8 million commitment from Genentech – will provide high school students with a multi-year hands-on biotech curriculum aimed at exposing students to biotech career and educational pathways.

Science Garage is part of Futurelab, a successful public-private partnership between Genentech and SSFUSD designed to build STEM competence and confidence for elementary through high school students in Genentech’s South San Francisco back yard. The program engages over 1,000 Genentech employees in providing mentoring, hands-on activities, science competition, school field trips and more for over 4,000 local students, as well as professional development for SSF high school teachers.

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Sustaining Members

AbbvieAgensysAlexandriaAllerganAmgenastellasCedars SinaiCelgeneCodexisCymaBayCytomXDLA PiperDu PontEdwardsEYGenentechgenomic HealthGileadHogan LovellsJohnson & JohnsonJohnson & JohnsonKPMGLatham & WatkinsLeerinkMedtronicMerckNektarOncocyteOncoMedOrganovoPfizerProteuspwcSt. Jude MedicalStanford UniversitySutroTakedaUCSF