Written by Kevin Hampton, VP of Marketing, Kineticos
After several years of organizing, coordinating, and planning for the annual JP Morgan healthcare conference, I had my first taste of the actual event a couple weeks ago. As I reflect back on that rainy week in San Francisco, it’s crystal clear to me now why this is the single most important conference for our industry.
Most industry conferences consist of business development and sales and marketing teams pacing up and down the aisles of an exhibit hall, ultimately chasing after pharma dollars. Depending on the nature of the conference, you have professionals representing labs, diagnostic companies, CROs/CMOs, etc., all looking for nothing other than to secure a pharma partner. Don’t get me wrong; these events are necessary, often productive, and typically well run by top-tier conference organizers. It’s just that JP Morgan week seems to be a rung above the rest.
For starters, you have the who’s who of the industry all in the same city for a few days. While there is certainly no shortage of sales/marketing/business development professionals in town for the event, there’s no other event where you can find more active C-suite participants. This means that companies are there primarily to conduct business, not to listen to panel sessions and expand their LinkedIn network.
More importantly, it’s during this week in early January, every year, where hundreds of companies developing life-saving therapies go to showcase their science with hopes of catching the eye of an investor or partner. The primary reason that biotech executives pay exorbitant prices to stay in Union Square for the week is not to look for clinical or lab partners, it’s to prove that their science is sound, and if funded, can lead to better patient outcomes.
At JP Morgan, you have all of the noise that the other industry conferences have, but in my opinion, this particular audience is far more focused on advancing therapies, and the partnerships / fund raising necessary to get them to market. The gathering has served as the birthplace to billion-dollar blockbusters, but at the same time, an unsuccessful JP Morgan week can deny a novel compound the opportunity of ever seeing the clinic.
Some say that JP Morgan sets the tone for the entire year. I’m hopeful that the bolus of deal activity that has populated my news feeds over the past couple of weeks is an indicator of what’s to come in 2017.
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Kevin Hampton, VP of Marketing, leads Kineticos’ marketing efforts and is focused on building a brand that reflects Kineticos’ deep life science expertise and passion for improving patient outcomes. Mr. Hampton is responsible for the strategy and execution of Kienticos’ thought leadership and lead generation programs and also supports the sales function within Kineticos to ensure objectives remain aligned.