As the MedTech and broader healthcare investment community returns from the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and embarks on a new year, our experts provide insight and perspective on the key topics and variables that will influence activity in 2023.
ICR Westwicke Blog
The ICR Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of healthcare communications.
The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is a few weeks away, and just about every management team and major investor in the industry understands the crucial role this conference plays in bringing all sides together. Simply put, there is no more important single event of the year within the world of healthcare investing.
However, this year will be different in San Francisco, not only from the standpoint of increased in-person attendance, but also much has changed in the equity markets over the last 12 months. With the NYSE and NASDAQ reflecting negative returns for 2022, the IPO market has seen a significant pullback in activity – down more than 80% from the new issue volume in 2021. These factors have led investors to become more cautious with an increased level of due diligence related to both new and existing investments.
After a significant biotech boom over the last few years, the market has quieted. What does that mean for companies that want to pursue an IPO, and what are banks and analysts looking for in potential investments?
To gain perspective on the current biotech investment landscape and sector outlook, ICR Westwicke recently hosted a webinar, “ICR Healthcare Symposium: Biotech Investment Landscape – Sell-Side Perspective.” During the event, ICR Westwicke’s Chris Brinzey and Brandon Weiner spoke with Josh Schimmer, Evercore ISI fundamental research analyst, and Andrew Tsai, Jefferies analyst, about the latest investment trends in biotech and how companies considering an IPO can position themselves for a favorable investment profile.
From new treatments and technologies to platforms and diagnostics, we may be living through the greatest period of innovation in the history of healthcare. The biopharma industry’s efforts to rapidly develop multiple safe and efficacious life-saving vaccines for the Covid-19 pandemic is just the latest example of the collective appreciation for innovation and its ability to impact human health. While the industry loves true innovations—and the brilliant minds who envision them—being an innovator is not for the faint of heart.
I have always found it interesting to discover what’s on people’s minds and delve into what keeps them up at night. So, I thought it would be useful to share the questions I have received recently from a mix of public and private biotech management teams, along with my responses.
Over the last 25 years, I have listened to hundreds of earnings calls. As a sell-side analyst, they were a routine and not-much-fun part of the job. Four times a year, you lock yourself in your office and listen to call after call of management teams highlighting their achievements or trying to sugar coat the not-so-positive news.
Most of the calls were pretty standard, and came off as well thought-out and comprehensive. But every so often you would hear that call where the sell-side analysts were unforgiving in their questions and the tone was so negative you almost feel bad for the management team. In my role here at ICR Westwicke, I’ve learned what really goes on behind the scenes to make those effective earnings calls appear effortless: a lot of hard work and practice starting about a month ahead of time. Who would have ever thought?
Creating an investor relations strategy is no small task — but it’s a critical step for any public company. To meet the expectations of investors and analysts, company leaders must develop a strategic approach for messaging, earnings calls, guidance, conferences, investor interactions and more. While that can seem overwhelming, an effective IR process actually boils down to just seven essential elements. With a plan for each of these areas, you can build a quality, long-term shareholder base and enhance equity market value.
Public healthcare companies often question the best course of action during quiet periods – those stretches of time during which they should limit their interaction with Wall Street due to their knowledge of material and timely information that has not yet been disclosed. Specifically, management teams struggle to figure out what the quiet period means for their investor relations (IR) efforts.
If your company is publicly traded or a private company preparing for an IPO, then you likely have two separate communication tasks, one focused on reaching investors and financial analysts, the other on reaching customers and the general public – investor relations and public relations.
Investors know that biotech and biopharma companies in the early development stages can be risky investments. So finding the right investors that believe the rewards will outweigh the risks requires strategy.