J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week Highlights Shifts in the Commercialization of Care


In January, Emily White, MD, FUS Partners Managing Director, traveled to San Francisco for the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Considered the largest event of the year related to healthcare and finance, the conference draws 9,000 attendees and more than 450 public and private companies.

JP MorganThe Foundation values the opportunity to hear from thought leaders in the field and understand the latest investment trends. It is also a space to meet with individuals representing the capital markets and focused ultrasound manufacturers seeking funding.

“The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is the most important week in healthcare investing,” said White. “This year, there was a shift from requesting meetings with investors, to investors seeking me out to learn about other FUS opportunities because they are excited about recent investments in the space.”

“Additionally, I had several inquiries from companies who are interested in collaborations with focused ultrasound manufacturers regarding targeted drug delivery research and clinical trial opportunities. It’s great to see how the field of focused ultrasound has changed and grown in the past year in the context of the larger healthcare field.”

Highlights from this year’s conference included:

  • The Consumerization of Healthcare. Many companies and investors are focused on developing health-related apps. The next goal will be to determine reimbursement in the space.
  • Health IT Garnered Big Investments. More money was invested in companies focused on health IT and health data in 2018 than in both pharma and medtech combined.
  • Investors Want to Make an Impact. In 2018, there was shift in the investor space to earlier stage companies, suggesting that investors are interested in the potential for transformative or game-changing companies as opposed to copycat opportunities.
  • Healthcare-related Legal Cases Gain Steam. Larger class-action lawsuits are being organized, funded in part by loans from hedge funds. In turn, medtech and pharma companies are placing emphasis on their public relations campaigns. A notable example included the Netflix documentary “The Bleeding Edge,” which was funded solely by the law firms involved in the class action lawsuits.
  • Economic Impact. Company valuations in 2018 were down slightly compared to previous years, possibly due to uncertainty surrounding trade wars between China and the US.
  • Brexit. Many pharma companies have invested significantly to develop drug manufacturing capabilities outside of Great Britain.
  • Tailored Healthcare. Precision medicine remains a big area of interest, along with combination therapies.
  • Money Matters. There was much discussion around the shift from transactional medicine to an outcomes-based pricing model.

The next JP Morgan Healthcare Conference will take place January 13-16, 2020, in San Francisco.

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