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CLSI’s FAST Life Science Accelerator Announces Statewide Expansion

For Immediate Release:
Dec. 8, 2016

Significant Milestones and New FAST Cities Highlighted at Fall Showcase in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) announced today that it will celebrate the expansion of its FAST Accelerator program to Davis and Southern California – and its designation as the West Coast accelerator for combating antimicrobial resistance (CLSI CARB-X) – at a special FAST Showcase & Reception on Dec. 13 at the Wilsey Theater and Education Studio of the War Memorial Building in San Francisco.

CLSI is the non-profit partner of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), and supports the foundations of innovation – workforce development, STEM education and entrepreneurship – that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem.

After four years in operation, 34 of the most promising Bay Area early-stage life science companies have graduated from CLSI’s FAST Accelerator. Collectively, these graduates have developed products and services that we believe will dramatically improve the standard for patient care and the future of medicine. Such companies include: Glialogix, developing a therapeutic for Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, for which there is currently no treatment; NeuroSave, bringing forth a device that will save brain tissue from stroke; and Ziteo Medical, inventors of tools to help surgeons better identify and remove cancerous tumor cells.

Including the five Fall 2016 FAST company graduates who will be presenting at the Showcase, key program milestones include:

  • FAST companies have raised over $130 million since graduating from the program
  • FAST companies have more than doubled their workforce with over 125 new jobs created
  • Over 35 percent of FAST graduates are generating revenue
  • 11 FAST graduates have secured Series A investments
  • 2 FAST graduates have successfully exited

The FAST Accelerator receives critical support from over 150 expert advisors, who have collectively donated more than 3,400 hours valued at over $880,000 to deliver tailored intensive business counsel to help FAST companies navigate the product development process, regulatory requirements, market considerations, financing and more.

Central California

Based on this successful track record, CLSI was recently awarded a $50,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) Growth Accelerator Competition grant to expand FAST to Davis, California.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring critical business support to some of the cutting-edge life science innovation that is coming out of UC Davis,” said Lori Lindburg, President & CEO of California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI). “Our goal is to build strong advisory relationships that will provide operational and commercial experience and accelerate the growth of Davis startups,” added Steve Karp, who spearheads the FAST program for CLSI.

Los Angeles

A fortunate confluence of events has opened the door to possible FAST expansion in Los Angeles. After the LA Board of Supervisors recently approved $3 million in matching funds, LA BioMed is well on its way to breaking ground on an 18,000-square-foot incubator that will house life sciences startups. Like many life sciences accelerators across the state, LA BioMed wishes to combine its wet lab incubator with business advisory services that will accelerate the development timeline for a subset of startups in the LA region and is working with CLSI to bring FAST to LA.


In the most pronounced expansion of the FAST Accelerator model, CLSI is a member of the winning BARDA-supported international CARB-X consortium, the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted to combating antimicrobial resistance.

“As the west coast accelerator for CARB-X, CLSI is privileged to play a key role in furthering the CARB-X mission,” said CLSI CARB-X Executive Director, Heather Shane. “We are committed to providing entrepreneurial support and business mentoring to CARB-X companies, regardless of location.”

CARB-X aims to protect humanity from the most serious bacterial threats by accelerating a diverse portfolio of at least 20 high-quality antibacterial products toward clinical development, leveraging $250 million in BARDA funds with matching funds from the Wellcome Trust and the AMR Centre.

Click here to learn more about the FAST accelerator or contact Steve Karp at FAST@califesciences.orgClick here to learn more about CLSI CARB-X or contact Heather Shane at hshane@califesciences.org.

About California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI)

California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) supports the foundations of innovation that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem. With a focus on the San Francisco Bay Area, CLSI’s mission is to maintain California’s leadership in life sciences innovation through support of entrepreneurship, education and career development. CLSI serves as the west coast accelerator for CARB-X, the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted to combatting antimicrobial resistance. CLSI is an affiliate of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), which represents California’s leading life sciences organization. The California Life Sciences Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3), and was established in 1990 as the BayBio Institute. Learn more at http://califesciencesinstitute.org.

Media Contact:
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
Will Zasadny | Associate Director, Communications
Wzasadny@califesciences.org | 619-961-8848