California Life Sciences Association Adds Leaders From Covington & Burling And Takeda Pharmaceuticals To Board Of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO & SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 5, 2017 – California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the state’s premier public policy and business solutions organization representing the California life sciences industry, today announced an expansion of its board of directors, adding two new members. Wade Ackerman, Partner at Covington & Burling LLP and Richard Ascroft, Vice President, Managed Market and Government Affairs at Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., have joined the CLSA board.

“As California Life Sciences Association continues to grow and expand our efforts and involvement statewide, we turn to our trusted board of directors to help guide us in the right direction to further enhance California’s innovative life sciences economy,” said Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA).

“I’m pleased to welcome Wade Ackerman from Covington & Burling LLP and Richard Ascroft from Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA to our Board. Their insights will help bolster our efforts to drive solution-oriented public policies and advocacy activities that sustain and support life sciences research, investment and innovation in California,” added Radcliffe.

About Wade Ackerman, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Through more than a decade of experience in private practice and positions within the FDA and on the Hill, Wade Ackerman has acquired a deep understanding of and unique insight into the legal and regulatory issues facing companies marketing FDA-regulated products. As part of Covington’s California life sciences practice, Mr. Ackerman advises clients on FDA regulatory matters across a range of sectors, including drugs and biologics, medical devices and diagnostics, and digital health associated with drugs and traditional devices. Until June 2016, Mr. Ackerman served as Senior FDA Counsel to the U.S. Senate Health Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. In this role, he was involved in all major legislative initiatives, oversight hearings, and other Senate activities concerning the FDA and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. From January 2015 through June 2016, he helped negotiate many of the FDA-related provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act, including reforms to FDA’s review and approval of drugs, devices, combination products, and health software. He also worked closely with the FDA and other stakeholders as Congress examined legislative reforms in other key areas, including diagnostics/LDTs, cosmetics, and over-the-counter drugs.

About Rick Ascroft, VP, Managed Market and Government Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Rick Ascroft is responsible for managed markets and government and external affairs and serves as a member of the Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Inc. executive team. Mr. Ascroft joined Takeda in November 2015. Prior to joining Takeda, Mr. Ascroft worked for Eli Lilly and Company for 22 years in a variety of clinical research, commercial, market access and corporate affairs roles. He has spent well over half of his career working in public affairs and managed markets roles in the U.S. and internationally, spending five years as the director of corporate affairs and market access for emerging markets and Japan, followed by three years as the senior director of corporate affairs and market access for the U.K. and Republic of Ireland and most recently four years as the senior director of corporate affairs, market access and pricing for Europe, Canada and Australia. Prior to these roles, Rick worked in U.S. federal public policy, clinical development and sales. Mr. Ascroft has a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana and a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law, graduating summa cum laude.

Headshots available upon request.

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)?

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the leading voice for California’s life sciences sector. We 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 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.

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