California Healthcare Institute and Bay Area Bioscience Association Will Combine to Become the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

Sara Radcliffe Announced as CEO of Combined Entity

PALO ALTO, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, Calif. Dec. 8, 2014 – The California Healthcare Institute (CHI), a nonprofit, public policy research organization representing leading California academic institutions, biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical firms, and the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio), the association for the Northern California life science community, today announced that the two organizations have signed a letter of intent to merge their operations into a newly created organization, to be called the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), representing the entire biomedical ecosystem of the state of California in one organization. The merger of the two organizations is expected to be completed by end of the first quarter of 2015.

Rick Winningham, chairman and chief executive officer of Theravance BioPharma and chairman of CHI, will become the initial chairman of CLSA upon completion of the merger. Hal Van Wart, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of CymaBay Therapeutics and chairman of BayBio, will become the initial vice chairman of CLSA.

“Never before has there been so much potential to bring improved health to so many people around the globe, but without supportive public policy, the potential of new innovations to transform health and life will not be realized,” said Winningham. “The merger of CHI and BayBio will create the strongest possible organization, capable of advocating for policies that support innovation and enable the success of our member organizations, as well as the growth of the life sciences sector within California.”

“As our member organizations face an increasingly complex environment, they require an advocate that is best able to advance the policies and goals that will enable their success,” said Dr. Van Wart. “CLSA will become a model for furthering the goals of its member organizations and, as a consequence, will enable improvements in the health and well-being of countless individuals living with serious medical conditions around the world.”

Sara Radcliffe will join CLSA as president and chief executive officer. Ms. Radcliffe has worked in life sciences advocacy and policy for more than two decades, most recently serving as executive vice president for Health for the Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of California’s biomedical sector. Advancements in science and technology combined with rapidly evolving reimbursement and care delivery environments will create significant opportunities and challenges in the years to come,” said Ms. Radcliffe. “I have worked with many CHI and BayBio staff and member organizations during my career, and I am very much looking forward to leading the newly formed CLSA’s efforts to fortify and expand the breadth, depth and reach of CHI and BayBio’s mission of advocacy on behalf of biomedical innovation throughout the State of California.”

The newly combined organization, at greater than twice the size of the current entities, will be a strong advocate for the continued growth and advancement of biomedical innovation in California and for the members of both organizations, while continuing to offer practical programs and services to support members as they work to bring new medical advances to patients. CLSA will be headquartered in California with offices in La Jolla, South San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as Washington, D.C.

The boards of CHI and BayBio want to recognize and express thanks for the many contributions of Todd Gillenwater, Gail Maderis and their staffs. The goal of this merger is to leverage and extend the talents of these two organizations. A major emphasis of the merger is policy and advocacy and it is expected that Mr. Gillenwater will have an expanded global policy, advocacy and communications role in the combined organization and will lead this from Washington, D.C. An integration team led by the new CEO, Sara Radcliffe, will ultimately determine the roles and responsibilities of the combined staffs. 

About Sara Radcliffe
Sara Radcliffe is the executive vice president for Health at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). In that role, Ms. Radcliffe has lead responsibility for identifying and implementing strategic BIO approaches to improving the ability of BIO’s human healthcare focused companies to research and develop life-saving and life-enhancing biotechnology products, and to bring these products to market. Among the priorities of BIO’s Health Section are: promoting a science-based FDA regulatory environment, enhancing patient access to innovative therapies and vaccines through reimbursement systems that recognize the value of biotechnology products, ensuring that biosimilars policies protect patient safety and promote innovation, and securing support for policies that advance personalized medicine and emergency preparedness. In her role at BIO she led the BIO team’s technical discussions with the Food & Drug Administration regarding the fourth reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V), and BIO’s engagement in implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovation Act. Prior to joining BIO, Ms. Radcliffe served as Senior Director, Biologics & Biotechnology at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). She also served in the Alliance and Technology Group at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals as a Research and Development Policy Analyst, working on evaluation and communication of the promise, ethics, and impact of rapidly-developing technologies in DNA Research. In addition she worked for the Core Services Committee of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Ms. Radcliffe holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College.

About BayBio
BayBio brings together the collective strength and experience of the world’s most innovative and productive life science cluster, helping companies grow, connect and advocate to solve some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. BayBio provides comprehensive support and solutions tailored to the unique needs of nearly 1000 Bay Area life science companies and institutions, delivering tangible value through group purchasing savings, capital access, government affairs & advocacy, networking and best-practice sharing. BayBio also supports the future of bioscience innovation through the BayBio Institute’s work in science education, career development and entrepreneurship

About CHI-California Healthcare Institute
CHI represents more than 275 leading biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies, and public and private academic biomedical research organizations. CHI’s mission is to advance biomedical research, investment, and innovation through effective advocacy of policies to improve public health and ensure the continued vitality of the life sciences sector. CHI’s website is Follow us on Twitter @calhealthcare, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Michael Lampe