J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Highlights Wary Investment Community


Key Points

  • In January, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference was held in-person for the first time since 2020.
  • Senior Advisor Patrick Edelmann shares his takeaways from the meeting, including a general sense of caution spurred by global uncertainty.

The 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference was held January 9–12, 2023, in San Francisco, CA.

The conference is a prominent healthcare investment meeting that connects global industry leaders, emerging fast-growth companies, innovative technology creators, and members of the investment community. It was held in-person for the first time since 2020.

Patrick Edelmann, a senior advisor for the Foundation, attended the meeting and shared the following key takeaways:

  • Attendance was underwhelming. In general, there was a sense that post-pandemic, companies and participants are content to tune in virtually and forego travel. The in-person attendance and networking opportunities were lower as a result.
  • The investment environment is muted coming out of 2022. In 2021, there were record numbers of initial public offerings and mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity. However, in 2022, M&A and capital activity were notably more conservative. Historically, many companies use the J.P. Morgan conference as a stage for big announcements, and there was a slower pace of news at this meeting. 
  • Breakthrough drugs made headlines. The big players in the pharmaceutical industry are advancing drugs that could slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and tackle diabetes.
  • Medical device companies share overall economic concerns. In 2022, the medical devices sector was the only one to nearly match the record investment of the previous year, dropping less than 10% overall. This was despite a sharp decline in the late 2022. Medical equipment companies appear to be cautious going into 2023 in both their spend and investment opportunities amid recession fears, China’s pandemic recovery, and global uncertainty.

“Anticipation for the 2023 meeting was high, but there was a general undercurrent of angst related to economic uncertainty about what the coming years will hold,” said Edelmann. “There is some indication that early-stage strategic support for medical device startups may pick up in 2023. It was also good to see focused ultrasound companies – notably Insightec and some of the other startups – participating in this year’s meeting.”

The next J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week will take place January 8–11, 2024, in San Francisco.