As science writer Amy Nordrum reports in the International Business Times, “executives, investors, analysts, and bankers are readying pitches, finalizing schedules, and fine-tuning presentations for biotech’s biggest event of the year” – the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. This year’s invitation-only industry confab is slated for the week of January 11 in San Francisco and is expected to draw more than 300 companies. Nordrum notes that in addition to biotech valuations and potential IPOs, investors are also attuned this year to “emerging trends in other rapidly shifting sectors such as digital health and diagnostics.” To this end, several satellite events have popped up to feature a full range of innovations. Here’s a preview of three we'll be covering in addition to the main event:
· StartUp Health Festival Designed to connect the next generation of healthcare entrepreneurs with hundreds of investors and visionary leaders focused on transforming healthcare, the festival will bring together more than 1,000 investors, CEOs, and leaders in digital health. Some of the featured fireside chats include: StartUp Health Chairman Jerry Levin; HHS CTO Susannah Fox; GE Ventures CEO Sue Siegel; Venrock partner Bob Kocher; Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla; athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush; super angel Esther Dyson; Aurora Healthcare CEO Nick Turkal; Cardinal Health EVP Meghan Fitzgerald; Preventative Medicine Research Institute founder, Dean Ornish; and nearly 100 CEOs and founders from StartUp Health companies. The Festival will end with a joint Startup Showcase co-hosted with athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program (MDP). The showcase will feature 59-Second Pitches from a pre-selected group of MDP and StartUp Health companies in front of an audience of over 200 healthcare investors. The Festival will be streamed live at http://www.startuphealth.com via Periscope.
· Big Data: 2025 Presented by FierceBiotech, this breakfast panel discussion addresses the intersection of genomics and biopharma. Storing, analyzing, and managing the big datasets that are being created around genomics for drug development, the organizers explain, has created challenges for the biopharma industry. Some leaders in the field, including Google and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, have been battering down some of these barriers, making it possible to explore the data for clues about new drug development opportunities. FierceBiotech has gathered leaders in the field to discuss what’s being done with Big Data, how that relates to large and small developers alike, and where this important sector is headed in the next 10 years. Panelists include FierceBiotech Editor-in-Chief John Carroll (moderator); David Glazer, Engineering Director, Google; Anthony Philippakis, Chief Data Officer, Broad Institute; Atul Butte, Director, UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences; Michael Pellini, President & CEO, Foundation Medicine; and Matthew Trunnell, VP & CIO, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
· Biotech Showcase and Digital Health Showcase The Biotech Showcase bills itself as “home base for innovative mid-small cap and private life sciences companies and the public, private, and strategic investors eager to meet with them.” Over 300 company presentations will take place during the three-day event. This year, organizers expanded the program to include a special one-day Digital Health Showcase in light of the key role digital therapeutics will play in the evolution of the monitoring and treatment of disease. Yarmela Pavlovic, Partner, Hogan Lovells, will be moderating the “State of the Industry Report: Digital Health: At the intersection of technology and medicine.” She will be joined by Vivek Bhatt, Chief Technology Officer, GE Healthcare Life Care; Eric Elenk, Executive VP, Science and Technology, PureTech; and Kevin McRaith, CEO, WellDoc, who will discuss this emerging sector and its future trajectory. Specialized workshops will focus on financing, the regulatory landscape, and big pharma's interest in digital medicine, and a curated group of innovative digital medicine companies will present on their strategies. Featured solutions include Ayogo Health’s chronic illness management tool; Iodine’s online medicine information community; Mango Health’s gamified medication adherence program; and WellDoc’s mobile technology designed to drive behavioral and clinical change in chronic disease.