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BioCommunique Article

Relive the most memorable Biocom moments of 2019.

Biocom’s Top Moments of 2019: A Year in Review

  • 2020-01-14T23:46:00.000+0000
  • California
  • Author: Lauren Panetta

2019 was undoubtedly a memorable one for Biocom—from the large and small victories we made alongside our members on the legislative front to the ever-growing attendance at over 180 events we held this year—our California life science community’s overwhelming engagement in all that we do for our members and the industry was astounding.

With a new decade ahead, we took time to reflect on Biocom’s top moments from 2019 and wanted to relive them with you. Biocom recognizes that without the innovative life science companies who work tirelessly to bring life-saving treatments to patients worldwide, we would not be where we are today. While we reflect back on the past year, our Biocom team is grateful to serve all of our more than 1,200 members who continue to inspire us.

Scroll through to see the biggest highlights from 2019.

Your Biocom Community Biocom's unprecedented strength in numbers, power, scope and reach allowed you to tap into life science networks within your city, up and down California, across the country, and spanning the globe to explore new opportunities.

  • 1200+ Total Biocom Members
  • 538K Biocom Network of Life Science Professionals
  • 180+ Biocom Events Held in 2019


Overcoming Opposition in Washington D.C. Throughout 2019, Biocom tackled a top priority: the drug pricing debate. We engaged with our members to find reasonable policies and educated congressional offices on the damaging effects of price controls and other proposals. Our op-ed expressed concerns with the Medicare Part D redesign provision in the Senate Finance Committee package. Biocom's jointly commissioned report showed H.R.3's negative impact on California’s R&D pipeline. With its unique presence in the regulatory advocacy space, Biocom also submitted comment on numerous FDA regulatory and reimbursement issues.


Championing Innovation in the Golden State Biocom played a key role in several bill negotiations before the State Legislature this year and in securing the industry’s top priority amendment in the highest priority bill this year: AB 824. This legislation sets a presumption in law that any patent challenge settlement is anti-competitive and subject to significant penalties. Biocom, working as part of an opposition coalition with member companies, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Research Association and other partners, was the chief negotiator to successfully secure changes removing the “clear and convincing” burden of proof for companies originally contained in the bill.


Triumphs Across California Regions A standout regional policy victory was the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passage of a Bioscience Overlay Zone. Biocom worked with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and other county stakeholders to craft the measure, which will streamline the entitlement and permitting processes in the unincorporated county specifically for life science developments. In addition, we continue to bring regulators, policy makers and Biocom members together, offering our popular “Ask The Inspector” series in South San Francisco, the East Bay, and San Diego. We also hosted a variety of roundtables with elected officials throughout the state.


Bringing Global Investors to the Table Held up and down California, Biocom organized 8 Venture Days, facilitating 135 one-on-one meetings between life science companies and VC firms. Our Partner Days with Baxter International and Eli Lilly saw a total of 84 one-on-one meetings. 50% of venture and partnering entities came from outside of California—including global investors from China, Japan, London, and Switzerland—providing life science companies access to external capital like never before. Learn about our next Capital Development event here.


Biocom's 9th Annual Global Life Science Partnering Conference 2019 was the largest Partnering Conference to date with a diverse crowd of investors and life science executives, all traveling far and wide to take part in discussions around the hottest investing topics. Register for our 2020 Conference here.

  • 360 attendees—a sell-out crowd once again this year!
  • 651 one-on-one partnering meetings
  • In 2020, we’re excited to offer even more meeting space.
  • With 22 states represented, attendees came from across the U.S., covering nearly half the country.
  • We gathered investors and business development professionals from 13 countries to help you make important business deals happen.


Securing the Most Influential Speakers

John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research & Development, Sanofi was Biocom's Global Life Science Partnering Conference keynote speaker. Previously, John was a San Diego resident when he joined the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 1992, one of the largest independent non-profit biomedical research institutes in the U.S. He went on to lead the institute from 2002-2013, where he served as CEO. We were thrilled to have him back in San Diego!

Mark Casper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific spoke at a private executive dinner in April, where our members heard insights about leading trends that are shaping the future of drug development and healthcare delivery, and what it means for the ever-growing life sciences industry.

Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, sat down for an intimiate discussion with Biocom CEO, Joe Panetta, in April to share his unique insights as the leader of a 20-year-old company and its journey to market and chart new territory from a regulatory, legal and commercial standpoint. The British biopharmaceutical company is known for its multiple sclerosis treatment product nabiximols (brand name, Sativex) which was the first natural cannabis plant derivative to gain market approval in any country.

Anna Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation, and International Affairs U.S. Food and Drug Administration addressed a room of over 800 life science executives in November at Biocom's Annual “Celebration of Life” Dinner, speaking about the FDA's top priorities.


Your Partner in Purchasing

35 Member Companies Represented in Purchasing Group Advisory Committees The Advisory Committees provided an opportunity to discuss best purchasing trends within the following areas: Lab, Facilities/Operations, Data/IT, Travel, and Finance/HR.

Revamped Member Benefits Dashboard Coming in 2020 We are proud to share a completely revamped member dashboard with you coming next year for monitoring your savings and benefits!

$200M in Member Savings Our Purchasing Group portfolio of suppliers continues to grow, as we add Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village to bring you more robust travel solutions.

Life Science Night at the Old Globe Theater The evening brought life science innovators and theatrical experiences together for a night of networking and celebration while watching Academy Award winner Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous.

Fisher Scientific Customer Appreciation in San Diego & Bay Area To give thanks and spend time directly with our members, Fisher Scientific held multiple member appreciation days in different parts of California.


Building Bridges in the Bay Biocom saw significant growth in our Bay Area membership this year, reaching nearly 450 members! We continued to add to our team and now have 6 Biocom staff members, all serving members across the region.


50 Biocom Events Held in 12 Bay Area Cities Accommodating the vast region, we organized 50 events in 12 cities! Our 4 Mayoral Roundtables brought members together with 8 elected officials at the federal and local level.


Leading the Way in LA In our third year in the City of Angels we grew Biocom membership by 50.5% and brought the LA member employee count to 65,105! The 30 strategic LA partnerships we have cultivated to foster collaboration include Biolabs LA, LAEDC, LA City & County, Nixon Peabody, the LA Workforce Development Board & SBWIB, and many more.


43 Biocom Events & Supported Events in LA Our CEO Summit and Investing with Impact events continued to be a hit and new for 2019 was an Investor Luncheon Series. We also planned 15 meetings with LA elected officials and members, including a Hatch Labs tour with 7 offices represented.


Biocom Life Science HR Conferences in California Biocom produced 3 successful Life Science HR Conferences up and down the state. We saw our Bay Area conference almost double in size from our inaugural conference in 2015. Over 150 HR executives convened to discuss the major issues facing the life science industry as they relate to culture, talent acquisition and how to scale and grow your company.


Transition, Learning, and Growth for Biocom Institute Executive Director, Karmin Noar and Director of Workforce Strategy and Innovation, Vicki Brannock were appointed to drive initiatives focused on STEM education and workforce development. Through listening to feedback from industry on their workforce needs, Biocom Institute is poised to help companies attract new talent and build the skills of tomorrow's leaders.


We’re Hiring! Our San Diego, Bay Area, and Los Angeles offices are currently hiring individuals to fill 8 open positions. We're on the lookout for talented professionals to join us!

Apply Now!