Bulletin, President's Corner

President’s Corner – CLSA Recognizes World Rare Disease Day, Honors Life Sciences Champions at Back to Session Reception, Helps Lead Efforts that Repealed IPAB; CLSI Hosts Women Executives Dinner, Chooses Spring 2018 FAST Companies; and Upcoming Events


By: Sara Radcliffe
CLSA President & CEO

February 28, 2018 


CLSA Recognizes World Rare Disease Day with Events & Activities in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans – that’s an estimated 3.9 million Californians – are affected by a rare disease or disorder. California research institutions and innovative life sciences companies lead the way in identifying the origins of rare diseases, and developing the tools and therapies needed to detect, diagnose, treat and ultimately cure rare diseases. On Feb. 28, CLSA will participate in World Rare Disease Day by hosting and participating in a series of events and activities in Sacramento, Washington, DC and via social media. Learn more here.

CLSA’s 2017 Life Sciences Champions | Left to Right: CLSA Pres. & CEO Sara Radcliffe; Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates; Assemblymember Rob Bonta; Assemblymember Heath Flora; Don Bobo, CLSA Board Chairman & Corporate Vice President, Edwards Lifesciences

CLSA Recognizes Life Sciences Champions at Back to Session Reception in Sacramento

We were pleased to recognize three Life Sciences Champions – Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) and Assemblymember Heath Flora (R-Ripon)  – at our annual Back to Session reception in Sacramento on Feb. 7, 2018.  Our Champions joined us, along with members of the State Legislature, legislative staff, key government officials, and other life sciences leaders for networking and lively conversation at Ella Dining Room in downtown Sacramento. Learn more here.

CLSA Helps Lead Efforts that Repealed IPAB

On Feb. 9, Congress passed and the President signed into law a full and permanent repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Eliminating the IPAB is critical for the continued success of California’s innovative life sciences sector, because the board could have harmed biomedical innovation by reducing incentives for investment in new research and product developmentLast year, the California delegation overwhelmingly supported stand-alone legislation, supported by CLSA, to repeal IPAB (H.R. 849). Introduced by California Rep. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Palm Desert), 30 bipartisan members of the California Congressional Delegation voted in support of the measure when it came to the House Floor.  The permanent repeal enacted earlier this month was included as a provision of the 2-year budget deal needed to avoid a government shutdown (H.R. 1892).
Read more here.

CLSA Keynote at Molecular Med Tri-Conference

On Feb. 13, I was pleased to speak at the 2018 Molecular Med Tri-Conference on what it takes to create a thriving life sciences ecosystem – using California as an example and citing statistics from CLSA’s 2018 Life Sciences Industry Report – along with California’s strength in cancer research. Learn more about my keynote and the event in this Bio-IT World article.

Institute Hosts First CLSI Women Executives Dinner

Twenty women executives from established life sciences companies, FAST startups and investment firms joined the California Life Sciences Institute’s first Women Life Sciences Executives Dinner on Feb. 17, 2018 at The Workshop in San Francisco.  The highly-acclaimed dinners are designed to foster networking and peer-to-peer exchanges on key industry issues for women executives, and to create valuable connections and champions among women leaders. If you are interested in hosting a Women Life Science Executives Dinner, please contact Lori Lindburg at

Six Companies Selected for FAST Spring 2018

CLSI is pleased to announce the six Spring 2018 FAST companies: Abalone Bio, developing functional antibody therapeutics that block or activate membrane protein using proprietary Functional Antibody Selection Technology platform; Antibiotic Adjuvant, developing AI-empowered decision support delivered at the point of prescription to reduce and prevent antibiotic resistance; Atropos Therapeutics, developing an optimized combination therapy for cancer and novel therapeutics for aging based on cellular senescence; C. Light Technologies, developing an ultra-precision retinal eye-tracking device to empower doctors to detect neurodeficits; Melio, developing a rapid broad-based platform for pathogen profiling for sepsis in newborns; and Valley Fever Solutions, developing a first in class new antifungal to treat valley fever.

Upcoming Events

pwcCLSA and PwC Launch Drug Commercialization Webinar Series

The drug launch environment is constantly changing in today’s evolving healthcare environment. Join the experts at PwC as they take you through a series of four launch training sessions to discuss the external environment, key considerations, best practices, and capabilities needed for a successful product launch.  Learn more here.

BioProcess International West
San Francisco
March 19-22

CLSA will also present information from our 2017 Industry Report in a Keynote at 2:30pm on March 22 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. CLSA members can email to request a 10%.

CLSA Launches Innovation Breakfast Series with Johnson & Johnson Innovation/JLABS

Join Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS and CLSA on March 27, 2018 for an exclusive fireside chat with Dr. Eric Ostertag, founder and CEO of Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. Poseida is advancing several innovative gene editing technologies, including Footprint-Free Gene Editing (FFGE) which is potentially the cleanest gene editing technology that is commercially available today. In this interactive discussion, hear the journey of an entrepreneur whose cutting-edge gene editing science can potentially impact some of today’s biggest health challenges. Register 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 (