Bill Allen

Bill Allen

Biocom announced Thursday the formation of an advisory board for its Los Angeles office to help spur one of the nation’s fastest growing biotech markets.

The new 11-member board includes Bill Allen, chief executive of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.; Judith Gasson, director of the David Geffen School of Medicine Technology Accelerator; and Martin Zagari, vice president of global health economics at Amgen.

The new board will help implement in L.A. Biocom’s larger mission to build industry networks, create access to capital, promote STEM education and create value-driven purchasing programs.

“In the year and a half since we launched our L.A. office, our advocacy efforts and support of elected and appointed officials have created a new awareness of the economic impact and high potential of the life science industry in L.A,” Dina Lozofsky, the nonprofit’s L.A. office executive director, said in a statement.

Biocom is based in San Diego with offices in L.A., Washington D.C. and Tokyo, works on behalf of 950 members across the state to advocate for and direct public policy on behalf of the biosciences.

Los Angeles County has a $40.3 billion life sciences industry, which received $893 million in federal bio research funding last year and supports 232,000 bioscience-related jobs. These jobs include 70,000 positions at nearly 2,500 companies in the biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics, research and lab devices and life science wholesale industries.

The county’s biosciences industry is growing but faces challenges, according to Biocom. Despite a larger population and a nexus of top research institutions, the region trails behind the Bay Area, the industry leader, and Boston and San Diego, which both vie for second place.

Los Angeles has shown a significant growth spurt in biopharma, medical devices, digital health and life science wholesale trade, according to Biocom, which plans on helping the region develop further.

“As a unifying force for our state, Biocom is uniquely qualified to provide the tools to help California’s life science industry expand,” said Joe Panetta, Biocom’s president and chief executive, and a member of the new L.A. advisory board. “As the largest life science association in the Golden State, we have the deepest bench of experienced talent and a legacy of success that we are excited to bring to bear in Los Angeles.”

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.