CLSA Board Members Visit the State Capitol and Meet with Governor’s Staff

By Brett Johnson
March 18, 2019

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, twelve members and representatives of the CLSA Board visited the State Capitol to meet with Governor’s Office staff and legislators from both Senate and Assembly chambers. Among the attendees were: CLSA Board Chair Bill Newell (Sutro Biopharma), CLSA President & CEO Mike Guerra, Leslie Stolz (Johnson & Johnson, on behalf of CLSA Vice Chair Melinda Richter), Perry Flowers (BD, on behalf of Ranjeet Banerjee), Dirksen Lehman (Edwards Lifesciences), Joshua Ofman (Amgen), Fritz Bittenbender (Genentech), Vera Janushkowsky (Pfizer), Daria Mochly-Rosen (Stanford), George Savage (Proteus Digital Health), Jamie Millar (GSK) and Keith Murphy (Viscient Biosciences).

The visits kicked off with Assemblymember Dr. Jim Wood (Chair, Assembly Health Committee) and Assemblymember Chad Mayes (Vice Chair, Assembly Health Committee), discussing proactive ways by which the life sciences sector can have a meaningful impact on California healthcare policy. Shortly after, CLSA members met with Senator Dr. Richard Pan (Chair, Senate Health Committee) and Senator Jeff Stone (Vice Chair, Senate Health Committee). Other meetings included visiting the offices of Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Assemblymember Adam Gray, and Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, all of whom have been active on issues critical to the life sciences industry.

Lastly, CLSA met with members of Gavin Newsom’s cabinet level staff as well as senior staff at the California Health and Human Services Agency, and engaged in policy conversations around healthcare cost containment. Among the discussion topics were tax policies, pricing debates, the value of innovation, and the impact of small member companies in California, as well as other potential issues in the coming years. Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, from Stanford University talked about importance of research and academic institutions and the part other institutions play in the early phase development of cures and therapies. Keith Murphy of Viscient Biosciences discussed the challenges small member companies face with investments and getting a small company off the ground. The Governor’s Office thanked CLSA and encouraged us to engage in any upcoming conversations around the cost containment and drug pricing.

Questions? Please contact Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Vice President of State Government Relations ( or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs (