Amgen and the County of Los Angeles Thursday announced that Amgen, a biopharmaceutical company based in Thousand Oaks, have agreed to become a founding sponsor of BioLA, a newly formed organization focused on advancing a life science innovation hub in L.A. County.

“The innovation hub is designed to contribute to advancements in global health by strengthening the County’s life sciences ecosystem and accelerating the pace of startup activity,” according to a statement. “BioLA will also focus on creating jobs, driving economic development and promoting the County’s public healthcare system.”

David Piacquad, senior vice president of Business Development at Amgen, said that “we look forward to further supporting the growth of this innovation ecosystem as we work in collaboration with the County of Los Angeles and other local entities.”

Mark Ridley-Thomas responded on behalf of the L.A. County Board of supervisors.

“Los Angeles County runs the nation’s second largest municipal health system, spending over $10 billion annually to serve its 10 million residents,” he said. “We are proud to partner alongside our leaders in science and business to rightly put Los Angeles on the map as a global leader in bioscience innovation. We welcome biotech giant Amgen’s acumen and resources, alongside others, in growing our startup ecosystem.”

BioLA’s mission is to ensure that Los Angeles County has the collaborative, highly coalesced ecosystem needed to translate science and technology from its academic centers into successful companies. The BioLA organization will bring together stakeholders that include academic institutions, research hospitals, investors, startups, mature companies, trade associations and public and quasi-public agencies to advance the pace of innovation, the statement said.

BioLA also will engage in activities to support the innovation community, including strategic investments, stakeholder outreach and local executive talent development, it said. In addition to County government and Amgen, BioLA’s founding sponsors will include philanthropists and other life science stakeholders.

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