SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative today announced that it has appointed Una Ryan, O.B.E., Ph.D.,D.Sc., as Chairwoman of the non-profit organization. The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative is committed to fostering an atmosphere of innovation and providing the means to enhance a vibrant bioeconomy in the Bay Area.
"I am honored to lead this initiative to grow the Bay Area bioeconomy," said Dr. Ryan. "By bringing together our region's world-class academic research centers and medical centers, industry leaders, investors, and government and regulatory agencies, we can address some of the most critical challenges in healthcare and, ultimately, bring promising breakthroughs to patients more quickly and efficiently."
The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative has established three strategic imperatives to improve human health, including increasing efficiency in clinical trials; accelerating the timeline of drug discovery, development and diagnosis in areas of significant unmet medical need; and expediting the implementation of innovative technological advances into the everyday practice of medicine.
"Dr. Ryan has a proven track record of establishing life science companies and building successful cross-sector collaborations focused on improving health through innovative solutions," said Tony Coles, M.D., Former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "As an industry leader and as an investor, her expertise makes her the ideal person to develop the Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative to establish multi-disciplinary collaborations, develop innovative funding approaches and increase engagement with government stakeholders."
Matthew Hudes, U.S. leader of Deloitte's biotechnology practice, which is providing pro-bono advisory services to the initiative, said Dr. Ryan's appointment and the effort it represents comes during a watershed moment in health care.
"The U.S. life sciences industry is on the verge of a fundamental shift related to data-driven medicine and the migration to a value-based payment model," said Hudes. "Under Dr. Ryan's leadership, this innovative community can be at the forefront of this transformation by better cultivating the assets and talents we are fortunate to have in place."
In addition to her position as Chair of the Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative, Dr. Ryan is Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an investment firm that pursues above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. She is a partner in Astia Angel, investing in women-led ventures as well as The Angel Forum, a group of CEOs and founders of entrepreneurial ventures who are now dedicated to investing in, mentoring and advising Silicon Valley startups.
"BayBio shares the Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative's commitment to strengthening our life science community," said Gail Maderis, President & CEO of BayBio, the industry organization representing and supporting Northern California's life science community. "The Bay Area is fortunate to have Dr. Ryan's leadership on this important initiative."
Dr. Ryan is a Research Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and has authored over 500 publications in vascular biology. Her board positions include BayBio, Albany Molecular Research, RenovoRx and Bioarray Therapeutics. She previously served as chair of MassBio, and served on the board of Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative Leadership Council and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Dr. Ryan previously served as President and CEO of Diagnostics for All, President and CEO of Waltham Technologies, Inc., and President and CEO of AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Ryan holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Cambridge University, an Honorary Doctor of Science degree and Bachelor of Science degrees from Bristol University. In 2007, Dr. Ryan received the Albert Einstein Award for outstanding achievement in the life sciences. In 2002, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Dr. Ryan the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to biotechnology.
About the Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative
The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative is a non-profit organization committed to fostering an atmosphere of innovation and providing the mean to enhance a vibrant BioEconomy in the Bay Area. Bay-BI has established three strategic imperatives to improve human health, including increasing efficiency in clinical trials; accelerating the timeline of drug discovery, development and diagnosis in areas of significant unmet medical need; and expediting the implementation of innovative technological advances into the everyday practice of medicine. Founding Bay-BI sponsors include Deloitte, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., BayBio, Agilent Technologies, Alta Partners, Bayer, BioCentury Publications, Inc., DLA Piper, Gladstone Institutes, Johnson and Johnson, Oncomed, Pfizer, Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco.
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