Imagine a conference where all the Biotech CEOs and investors of the World come together…all the major players in this Industry, under one roof.
That’s basically what the J.P.Morgan Conference is about. Organized by the banking firm of the same name, it is the 34th edition this year.
And with age, comes exclusivity: The J.P. Morgan event is the secret, upmost-private, invitation-only conference with only the top influencers of the planet. It takes place every year in the beginning of January in California’s stunning San Francisco (specifically Union Square).
As one German CEO told me this week: “It’s the only time of the year where Union Square is full of Biotech people in a suit.” (And we know, SF is usually really casual and more startup hoodie-friendly). You can watch our Labiotech Tour documentary on the Biotech bubble in the SF Bay area below.
However, the really funny thing about this almost too-exlclusive event, is that the whole of Union square becomes a Gold rush in Biotech turf during the conference period.
Booked up by others in the industry (e.g. the Biotech Showcase event by the EBD Group), eager to use this rare annual gathering of CEO’s to their advantage, a real business phenomenon has indirectly grown up around the J.P. Morgan event – entirely independent of the actual conference. Weird – but smart!
SO…why is this Annual Following so Important to the Industry?
This conference really shoots off the year, permitting a Biotech ‘window’ for major company announcements, some of which can spark off Big trends throughout the rest of the year. Every company wants to be there to meet investors, influencers and media etc. I mean, it attracts even more leaders than the BIO Convention.
Here are some examples of Major Announcements made this year:
Moderna announced a few things. It now has raised $1.2Bn (€1.1Bn) in total from VC investments and deals. In 2015, it invested $175M (€161M), hired 130 new employees and launched their first Phase I trial AND launched 3 ventures, including one deeply routed in the growing Microbiome hype in Immuno-Oncology.
In 2016, Moderna plans to invest an additional $350M (€322M), hire an additional 180 people and launch several more phase I trials. Wow. (watch our exclusive interview of Moderna’s CEO).
UK Immune-Oncology Biotech F-star announced a (massive?) deal with AbbVie, so that’s its 4 big Pharmas it is now partnered with. We also interviewed their CBO, Jane Dancer, at Bio-Europe in November.
Shire finally acquired Baxata for $32Bn (€29.6Bn). Finally, finally.
BioMarin (also led by a French CEO) announced it plans to hit over a Billion in sales this year. To put this in perspective, it only made $25M back in 2005. So that’s quite a bit of growth…
Roche also seemed to be in a strong position this year, and qualified as “Favored Stock”.
In the same spirit as this January craze, we decided to list our selected Top 10 European Biotechs that are Hot (and you should watch) in 2016. Let us know what you think.
Of course, many more announcements were made, but that should give you a good idea of what J.P.Morgan (JPM in short) is all about.
Funny story: Anne Wojcicki, the founder and CEO of 23andMe, was shushed by a member of the crowd trying to listen to a presentation of 23andMe’s president, Andy Page. Sssssshhhh!
Our Documentary on the Bay Area; a Biotech Ecosystem Crucial to the Global Industry