Coming out of the JPM 2024 Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, we were energized to see the resiliency and future opportunities ahead for biotech. We were on the ground to attend numerous exciting presentations, facilitate a swath of media meetings, coordinate panel sessions, and connect with life science innovators from across the biopharma ecosystem.
Our top 3 biotech takeaway themes:
M&A Momentum: Four large deals were announced on the first day of the conference:
Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Ambrx to develop the next-generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs)
Merck’s acquisition of Harpoon Therapeutics to advance breakthrough science and enhance their oncology pipeline
Novartis’ acquisition of Calypso Biotech for a cytokine that could address a wide variety of autoimmune indications with high unmet needs, in addition to two biotech partnerships (Argo and Isomorphic) for exciting prospects in RNAi cardio programs and AI-enabled biotech
GSK’s acquisition of Aiolis Bio to expand its respiratory biologics portfolio and reach a broader asthma patient population
Seeing the continuation of M&A from December into January fueled the conference’s energy. This brought a welcome change of pace from last year’s conference and sent a message that more biotech deals are possible in 2024.
Financing Resurgence: If 2023 was the year of "waiting for a lead investor to step up," then 2024 is the year of answering the call. With companies exploring everything from clinical development and therapeutic applications to platforms integrated with machine learning and AI, there is a lot of promising innovation in biotech. The conference was abuzz with discussion of upcoming IPOs and deployment of the incredible amount of capital on the sidelines. This resurgence in biotech could birth new industry leaders and strengthen partnerships with ground-breaking science and novel technologies.
Palpable Optimism: If our "Last Call" reception for clients at JPM was any indicator, our industry is headed for a successful year. We noticed more ‘pep in the step’ of the entrepreneurs, executives, and investors who attended, with clear excitement and optimism for what 2024 has to bring.