MacDougall Musings

A Look Back at JPM24

The J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference has long been regarded as one of, if not the largest life sciences event of the year. Full of M&A announcements, data readouts and trend forecasting for the coming year, the 2024 conference did not disappoint.

On-site audience polls conducted by journalists at JPM indicate a prevailing industry sentiment that is more positive than what we saw in 2023. While only time will provide a definitive assessment, it appears many are leaving the meeting with optimism in the air.

The East-West Healthcare Reception kicked off with remarks from its sponsors, where I shared my views on how innovative science can fall flat without a communications strategy in place. While a company’s scientific approach can help predict its success, strong storytelling opens doors.

Check out some of the highlights from JPM this year:

Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) – JPM started off with ADC news and it continued to gain momentum throughout the week. “We’re seeing companies make investments in traditional pharma assets that are a little further along in the development pipeline,” said Sharon Flanagan, Managing Partner at Sidley. “ADCs are really interesting,” she continued, “So that’s a way to do something that’s still pharma, but with something novel and interesting, that has a spin to it. I do think in markets that are a little uncertain, sometimes the more truly novel types of products might get less interest.” (link)

Small molecules – “Every pharma company, despite the IRA, is talking about small molecule[s],” said Vineeta Agarwala, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “The chemical biology renaissance is definitely real.” (link)

Artificial intelligence – “Despite the state of the world, financial and otherwise, there seems to be excitement in the air,” said Seema Kumar, CEO of Cure. “And I think that it has to do with AI.” (link)

With JPM24 behind us, now is the time to start planning for 2024. Reach out to the MacDougall team for help mapping out the coming year and ensuring that your communications strategy aligns with your company’s goals.