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California Life Sciences Association Elects Leaders from Merck, Organovo and St. Jude Medical to its Board of Directors

/ -- SAN FRANCISCO, CA and SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - May 24, 2016) - Today, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) announced its board of directors has appointed three new members: Ben Thorner, Vice President, BD&L and Head of North American Innovation Hubs, Merck; Keith Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Organovo; and Dave Anderson, Vice President, Merger & Acquisition Integration, St. Jude Medical.

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the nation's largest statewide life sciences public policy advocacy and business solutions organization serving more than 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers.

"We are pleased to welcome these thoughtful leaders from Merck, Organovo and St. Jude Medical to the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) board of directors," said Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO of California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). "Ben Thorner, Keith Murphy and Dave Anderson will help shape CLSA's agenda and organization goals as we focus on our collective mission of helping grow and foster California's world-leading life sciences sector. These leaders and their respective organizations exemplify the depth and range of CLSA's membership and what we stand for in advancing hope for patients and consumers in California, across our country and around the world."

About Ben Thorner
Ben Thorner is Vice President, BD&L and Head of North American Innovation Hubs at Merck Research Laboratories. As such, Thorner leads the Boston Innovation Hub and the West Coast Innovation Hub, each of which is a full business development organization, tasked with bringing new molecules, technologies and collaborations into Merck, especially in the New England and West Coast Regions. The emphasis for these activities is on early-stage (prior to PoC in Humans) opportunities. The Innovation Hubs work closely with academic centers, biotech and pharma companies. Prior to joining Merck, Thorner was Head of Transactions in Strategic Alliances at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). Prior to joining Novartis, Thorner led the execution of numerous deals as Executive Director of Licensing at Amgen. Thorner also held other roles at Amgen, including Senior Counsel in Amgen's legal department, where he drafted and negotiated key licensing and related deals. Before moving in-house, Thorner worked as an attorney in private practice at the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP. Thorner also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Randall R. Rader on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. Thorner holds a Masters Degree in Biology and a JD from the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree in Government & Politics from George Mason University.

About Keith Murphy
Keith Murphy is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Organovo. Murphy has more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology, including co-founding Organovo in 2007 and serving in Product Strategy and Director of Process Development roles at Amgen. His ten years at Amgen included four years as Global Operations Leader for the largest development program in Amgen's history, Phase 3 osteoporosis/bone cancer drug denosumab. At Amgen, he also worked to develop several other novel formulation and device products. Prior to Amgen, he played a central role at Alkermes, Inc. on the development team for their first approved product, Nutropin (hGH) Depot. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an alumnus of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

About Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson is Vice President, M&A Integration for St. Jude Medical. He is currently leading the integration of Thoratec into St. Jude Medical, the largest acquisition in St. Jude Medical history. He has been with St. Jude Medical for 23 years in a variety of leadership roles including R&D, Program Management, Operations, Quality and Continuous Improvement. Prior to St. Jude Medical, Anderson was an engineer at Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, now a part of Abbott Vascular. Anderson has a BSMSE from Kettering University and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. His former board roles include the MDIC Steering Committee on Modeling and Simulation and Proteus Biomedical (as St. Jude Medical observer). He is active in his local community as board chair of Trinity Classical Academy (College Prep K-12 school) and Deacon at NorthPark community church.

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the leading voice driving innovation for California's life sciences sector. CLSA work closely with industry, government, academia and other stakeholders to shape public policy, drive business solutions and grow California's life sciences innovation ecosystem. CLSA serves over 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged to create the state's most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Will Zasadny
Associate Director, Communications