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5 Things to Look for at the 2019 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Posted on November 20th, 2018. Posted by


The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference provides an insightful beginning to the year. Beyond offering an opportunity to meet with analysts, investors, and other professionals in the healthcare industry, it illuminates trends that you’re likely to see throughout the upcoming year.

As you look forward to the 2019 event in January, start thinking about the information you can glean from the sessions you’ll attend, meetings you’ll facilitate, and announcements you’ll hear over the course of the conference.

Specifically, make sure you look out for these five things.

  1. A glimpse into the 2019 M&A landscape

The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is well-known as one of the premier places for companies to announce recent M&A deals. While 2017 saw a lull in announcements of M&A deals, the 2018 conference showed signs of renewed deal activity. 2018 U.S. tax cuts were predicted to spur M&A funding, especially in pharma and biotech — and that certainly proved true, as several large deals were announced at the very beginning of the year.

In 2019, be on the lookout for signs of the M&A landscape for the rest of the year. Are several big deals announced during the event, or is it on the quiet side? This can give you helpful insight into how the rest of the year will progress.

  1. New industry trends to be aware of

You’ll likely notice a few key trends that flow throughout the conference and should guide your strategy in the coming year. In 2018, for example, the conference noted the importance of cybersecurity, engaging physicians, value-based payments, and pursuing multiple revenue streams.

Representatives from public companies who will be meeting with shareholders should keep an eye on these trends, as you’ll want to be prepared to discuss how you plan to take these trends into consideration over the coming year. Private companies with plans to go public in the coming year should also stay abreast of these trends to communicate their business value to potential investors.

  1. Updates to the emerging trends of 2018

Each year, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference highlights how the latest trends in technology — from drones to blockchain — are transforming healthcare and biotechnology.

During the 2018 conference, for example, there was much talk about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. Ultimately, many experts and venture capitalists recommended that for now, AI is best suited for back-office and administrative functions, rather than clinical tasks. Now that companies have had another year to develop AI programs, will there be a renewed interest and potential in using AI for clinical tasks?

  1. Insight into where investor money is going

The 2018 conference revealed that many investors are primarily interested in oncology startups that address topics like gene therapy and immunotherapy. MedCity News reported that these types of startups commanded the largest share of early-stage venture capital dollars in 2017, and predicted that that wouldn’t let up. During the 2019 conference, listen for indicators of what to expect in the year ahead — if investors will continue to pour dollars into oncology startups, or if the winds have changed and a new niche has stepped into the spotlight.

  1. Unexpected but valuable connections

It’s easy to go into the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference with a schedule of wall-to-wall meetings. Between analysts and investors, you probably have a mile-long list of people you need to meet with. However, it’s just as important to be on the lookout for unconventional or unexpected connections — say, with people who are simply doing interesting things in the industry.

These people can give you more insight into the industry (including the trends and M&A landscape mentioned above), as well as strengthen your overall network.

By staying on the lookout for these five things, the 2019 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference will be an insightful way to start the year. But to get the most out of the event, it’s critical to begin planning now. For tips on getting your team ready, download our complimentary eBook, J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: Your Keys to Success.

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ICR Westwicke is the largest healthcare focused investor relations firm in the country. We provide customized investor relations programs and independent capital markets advice to small and mid-cap healthcare companies.

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