Bulletin, President's Corner

President’s Corner – CLSA Engages Lawmakers in DC, Honors Three Members of Congress, Hosts Congressional Briefing on Biodefense & Pandemic Preparedness, Supports Digital MedTech Conference, Moderates AWIS Panel, CLSI Announces BioGENEius Challenge Winners, Hosts CARB-X Reception, Upcoming Events


By: Sara Radcliffe
CLSA President & CEO

May 30, 2018 


CLSA Executives and Board Engage Washington Lawmakers at DC Hill Advocacy Day

On May 23, CLSA’s Board of Directors and I spent a full day on Capitol Hill meeting with nearly 2 dozen key legislators and senior staff on issues of importance to California’s life sciences innovation ecosystem. This annual Hill Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity for federal lawmakers to hear directly from our state’s life sciences leaders about how the decisions they make in Washington can either advance or hinder our state’s life sciences sector. I want to especially thank the 15 members of our Board who took the time to participate in these vital discussions. Learn more.



CLSA Honors Leading Federal Legislators at Annual Spring Reception and Visionary Awards Dinner

Following our productive day on the Hill, CLSA was delighted to honor three Members of Congress – California’s Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Sacramento), and Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Palm Desert) and Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) – as bipartisan recipients of CLSA’s 2018 Visionary Awards for their leadership in promoting thoughtful public policies to advance biomedical research, investment and innovation.

We were proud to present Congressmen Bera, Ruiz and Paulsen with their 2018 Visionary Awards on May 23 at CLSA’s annual Spring Reception and Visionary Awards Dinner at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The program was attended by nearly 150 leaders in the health, life sciences, public policy and patient, provider and research advocacy communities. Learn more.


CLSA & Multi-State Colleagues Collaborate on Biodefense & Pandemic Preparedness Awareness

On May 14, CLSA hosted a multi-state life sciences association congressional briefing on “America’s biodefense and emergency preparedness,” focused on the need to renew the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) as critical for ensuring our nation’s biodefense and pandemic preparedness enterprise. The event was convened in collaboration with Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) as co-chairs of the Congressional Biodefense Caucus, and featured as an expert discussant Dr. Rick Bright, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CLSA’s VP of Federal Government Relations & Alliance Development, Jenny Nieto Carey, served as a moderator of the panel discussion which featured expert representatives of CLSA member companies Sanofi and Takeda, among others. Thank you to our multi-state partners and event cohosts: Biocom (San Diego), Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), Life Sciences Pennsylvania, and Michigan Bio, as well as BioNJ, Bio Utah, Bio West Virginia, Colorado Bioscience Association, Delaware Bio, Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council (IMDMC), Massachusetts Bio, MassMEDIC, Medical Alley (MN), MedTech of New York and North Carolina Bio. Learn more.


CLSA Supports the Digital MedTech Conference

On April 25, I opened the 2018 Digital MedTech Conference in San Francisco with an in-depth discussion of the state of the life sciences industry in California. This was an important opportunity to showcase the extraordinary contributions of our member organizations in advancing the digital health sector in our Golden State and beyond!


CLSA Moderates AWIS Panel

At the AWIS Innovation & Inclusion summit the same afternoon, I had the pleasure of moderating a fireside chat between Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Stanford about diversity and inclusion in academia and the life sciences sector. CLSA board Vice-Chair Melinda Richter, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS, was also honored with an inaugural Leadership Award.


CLSI Announces 2018 BioGENEius Challenge Winners

The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) announced the winner of the 2018 CLSI Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge earlier this month. Tenth grade student, Shloka Janapaty, took first prize after impressing judges with her research on a novel, fast, low-cost approach to achieving nearly 100% degradation of low-density polyethelene, a commonly used plastic that normally takes approximately 1000 years to degrade. Ms. Janapaty will represent the Bay Area in the International BioGENEius Challenge, which will take place at the BIO International Convention in June. Learn more.


CLSI Hosts CARB-X Information Session with Vir CEO, George Scangos

CLSI also held a CARB-X Information session earlier this month with 110 attendees and opening remarks by Vir CEO, George Scangos. California-based companies currently comprise 24% of the 33 CARB-X portfolio companies and almost 60% of the funding (up to $115.6M) awarded to date. Learn more here.  For more information on CARB-X, please contact Heather Shane.


Upcoming Events

CLSA Hosts Food & Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Courses at South San Francisco Events Center in July 2018

We are excited to host  two highly acclaimed courses from FDLI this summer, featuring presentations from CLSA board member Wade Ackerman and other industry experts, in our brand new South San Francisco event center:

Introduction to US Drug Law and Regulation | July 24-25 | South San Francisco

Explore the essentials of drug law and regulation and gain a comprehensive understanding of the administrative agencies that impact this industry. Learn about patent and exclusivity issues, Rx to OTC switches, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), advertising and promotion, compliance, enforcement, and related issues. Case studies, hypotheticals, and ample time for Q&A are provided. Register Here.

 Introduction to US Medical Device Law and Regulation | July 26-27 | South San Francisco

Explore the essentials of device law and regulation and gain a comprehensive understanding of the administrative agencies that impact this industry. Learn about registration and listing procedures, elements of conducting clinical investigations, Premarket Approval Application, advertising and promotion, compliance, enforcement, and related issues. Case studies, hypotheticals, and ample time for Q&A are provided. Register Here.

Application Deadline: July 31, 2018 – Encourage Bay Area High Schools to Apply!

Do you know a Bay Area high school that could benefit from a $20,000 science grant? CLSA, CLSI, Bay Area radio station KNBR are excited to the host the second annual Giants of Science competition in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants’ baseball season to award three $20,000 science program grants to Bay Area high schools who submit an application and video explaining why they need the grant and what the school would do with it. Applications are open until July 31st – find the application and more information here.

Don’t Miss CLSA’s 15th Annual Pantheon DiNA™ Awards on Nov. 30 – Early Bird Table Pricing and Limited Sponsorships Still Available

For the last 15 years, the CLSA Pantheon DiNA™ Awards have brought together the legends and luminaries of California’s life sciences sector to celebrate our advances and accomplishments. We invite you to join us on Friday, November 30 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco as we celebrate and recognize the impact that California’s therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device, and industrial biotechnology companies are making around the globe. Find sponsorship and table information here.



Sara Radcliffe

President & Chief Executive Officer
California Life Sciences Association

PS – Do you have newsworthy items to submit for consideration in our monthly CLSA Bulletin? Feel free to send those tips to Elizabeth Gibson, CLSA’s Senior Director of Marketing and Programs (