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Inizio Biotech key takeaways from JPM industry event

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 J.P. Morgan recently held its 42nd annual healthcare conference in San Francisco, bringing together tens of thousands of pharma and biotech firms, scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs. They were there to discuss the state of the industry, explore the latest trends, and forge profitable new partnerships. Inizio Biotech EVP Dean McAlister was in attendance and gave us his insights…

“After a difficult 2023 for the industry, the mood overall at the conference was very positive – largely thanks to an improving economic picture, a heavy dose of M&A activity, and an abundance of business opportunities,” he says.

A lot of companies Dean spoke to made it clear that 2024 was going to be a very busy year for mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the cardiometabolic sphere. There was also a lot of enthusiasm from venture capitalists (VCs) and keen investors to get involved in PIPE (private investment in public equity) deals, particularly in immunology and inflammation, as well as cardiovascular disease.

“The tech VC events we attended were extremely popular and we came away with the feeling that the level of investment in the AI / tech space is going to be huge this year,” says Dean. “We also heard a lot of talk on CAR-T / B-cell and radiopharma, while the ‘big drugs for big diseases’ view seems to have now firmly taken hold. There’s a broad sense that this is the way things are going to go.”

Obesity, neuroscience, and the Chinese market

Another theme widely discussed was obesity. The main highlight was that the oral drug space is getting very crowded with a growing interest in ‘obesity-plus’, ie can companies get better reimbursement for obesity drugs if they also address related pathologies and diseases? Although some payors are negative on paying for weight loss, the feeling is that the private-pay obesity market will be significant in 2024.

While at the conference, Dean also detected excitement in the neuroscience space from both buyers and biotechs: “It’s clear some of the area’s main leaders expect big things to happen in targeted brain therapies in 2024 and expect much higher business activity to unfold in the months ahead.”

One noticeable presence was the large number of Chinese biotech and pharma companies, with Pfizer in particular holding a special event to attract Chinese partners. Although some wondered whether the country’s biotech pipelines had been completely picked over, the overall impression was that China will remain hot.

“I had a tremendous time at the conference,” says Dean. “It was incredibly insightful and I spoke to many people in the industry about many of the themes – and in particular how Inizio Biotech can help them.”

Inizio is well-positioned to help companies to write the next chapter and craft the narrative to leave a legacy of impact on markets, therapeutic areas, and – especially – on patients who will benefit from innovative new medicines.

If you want to learn more, contact Dean MacAlister here.