Liftstream is an executive search recruitment company in the life sciences sector
Biotech clusters are big business. They attract investment, spur innovation and create economic prosperity for the local economy, let alone the bragging rights that come from market superiority. In the United States, Boston in Massachusetts and the Bay Area in California, duke it out annually for the accolade of top life science cluster. Unquestionably though, what is happening in Boston right now is nothing short of remarkable and the gravitational pull of this bioscience ecosystem is attracting companies from across the globe.
When we look at these clusters, we look for the winning formula – the template that will translate ambition into reality, in the way Boston has managed to. How can we emulate that success? Well, the truth is, the success of a bioscience cluster is driven my multiple factors, the more prominent of which are; scientific research, access to capital, investment environment, infrastructure and resources, and human capital.
So while Boston reigns superior and San Francisco tries to regain top spot, we wondered about the other pretenders to the crown. In particular, that of San Diego, a highly ranked cluster (often 3rd) which offers something different from these current ‘super-clusters’.
For this reason, we took a deeper dive into the San Diego biotech cluster and we did so from the knowledge base that we possess, which is human capital and executive leadership. We wanted to look at what public biotechnology companies (44 in total) looked like in terms of their CEO leadership and the board of directors which govern them.
Liftstream Releases Board Director and CEO Compensation and Governance 2015 Report – San Diego Biotechnology Cluster
Executive committee leadership and oversight by experienced and skilled boards will improve performance and governance of the biotechnology companies driving innovation. Understanding the landscape of corporate governance in biotech clusters will help companies evaluate their own boards’ strength.
Fair and equitable compensation is a challenge which grips leaders at all levels of the corporate ladder. It is CEOs and Boards who often receive the brunt of the hostile objections to what are viewed as excessive rewards. While undershooting on compensation also provokes equally audible protestations among those who wish for the company to continue to attract market leading talent and retain it effectively. For many, the correlation between financial rewards and quality talent is incontestable. For others, the connection is more opaque and the financial gains seen as disproportionate.
The San Diego biotechnology cluster is among the top biotech clusters in the US. Life sciences activity accounts for more than $31.8 billion of economic impact in San Diego. According to California Life Sciences Industry 2016 Report (here), San Diego biotech cluster employed 38,061 people in 2014.
Zavante Therapeutics, a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, California, has closed a $45 million Series A financing, consisting of $35 million from new investors and $10 million from the conversion of outstanding convertible notes.
PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company head-quartered in Malvern, PA, has appointed John Lee as Chief Medical Officer based in Malvern and John Sharp as Chief Financial officer based in San Diego.
Trovagene, a cell-free molecular diagnostics company in San Diego, California, has terminated the employment of CEO Antonius Schuh and CFO Stephen Zaniboni for withholding new therapeutics in the field of precision medicine for their own benefit. The firm filed a complaint against Schuh and Zaniboni for breach of fiduciary duty, which was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Diego. The complaint requests Schuh and Zaniboni to turn over their interests in these new therapeutics to Trovagene.