16 January 2017

Consilium’s JP Morgan Healthcare conference write up, San Francisco, January 2017


On the sodden streets of San Francisco, the great, the good and the not so good of healthcare gathered around Union Square for the industry’s annual pilgrimage, the JP Morgan 2017 Annual Healthcare conference.

If JP Morgan week is a bellwether for the year to come, then 2017 could have it all. Big ticket M&A printed out throughout the event led by Japan’s Takeda, which paid $5.2 billion to acquire cancer specialist Ariad, swiftly following this with a $125 million T-cell collaboration with Maverick Therapeutics. Merck KG&A announced a $230 million licensing agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to license a clutch of oncology assets, and Ipsen announced a $1 billion cash and milestones acquisition of Merrimack’s Onivyde. Meanwhile, the other Merck filed an unexpected approval to market Keytruda with chemotherapy as a first line treatment for NSCLC, raising the possibility of the first “blockbuster” IO agent and accelerating Merck’s advancing head start against key rivals Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and AstraZeneca, and Gilead Sciences and Moderna Therapeutics provided big pipeline unveils. In time-honoured tradition, it was left to a politician to rain on the parade, and President Elect Donald Trump, with his warning that the drugs industry is “getting away with murder”, provided a timely reminder of the unpredictability that politics can bring to the industry. 

Whilst many of our healthcare clients look forward to important news in 2017, the mood at the JP Morgan conference was pragmatically positive. With capital markets still volatile M&A may be in vogue in 2017. But the conference bustled with private companies tipped as 2017 IPO candidates and gossip about their prospects.

Ruined shoes aside, we enjoyed the conference and came home bursting with ideas and news. We look forward to putting the wet shoe leather to good use back in London, and wish all our clients, friends and contacts a busy, happy and prosperous 2017.

About Consilium Strategic Communications

Consilium Strategic Communications is a global leader in providing trusted, healthcare-focused strategic IR and financial PR counsel to corporations, Boards, senior decision makers and executives. From offices in Europe and USA, Consilium Strategic Communications’ senior team provides cross-border comprehensive financial and corporate healthcare communications advice to some of the world’s most prominent corporations around-the-clock. For more information, please visit our website at www.consilium-comms.com

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