UPDATE : Thursday, August 6, 2020
Drugmakers rush to attend JP Morgan’s healthcare event
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2018.01.08 11:44
  • Updated 2018.01.08 11:44
  • comments 0

Many local pharmaceutical and biotech companies plan to attend J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference to make a technology export deal, industry sources said.

More than 20 Korean firms are expected to aim a significant dealmaking at the 36th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, running from Monday through Thursday this week at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the U.S., they said.

Participants reportedly include Hanmi Pharmaceutical, SK Biopharm, Celltrion, Seegene, Medytox, Samsung BioLogics, Samsung Bioepis, Dong-A ST, LG Chem, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, HanAll Biopharma, MGMed (Cancer Rop), Crystal Life Sciences, ViroMed, GtreeBNT, and Sillajen.

The companies are expected to announce their business plans and have meetings for partnerships, targeting overseas investors and multinational pharmaceutical giants.

The reason local drugmakers head for the J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference is simple – to draw up a large tech export deal. After the J.P. Morgan’s conference helped Hanmi Pharmaceutical to clinch large out-licensing agreements worth 8 trillion won ($7.5 billion) in 2015, local drugmakers are increasingly attending the annual event

The event is invitation-only, and J.P. Morgan sends one or several invitations to its client firms recognized in financial investment.

All of the attending firms pay for the conference and focus only on searching for possible dealmakers during the event.

Meanwhile, Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han is to give a presentation on the company’s business plans at the “main track” on the first floor of the hotel at the upcoming conference, as he did so last year.

Celltrion CEO Kim Hyong-gi is also to introduce its global business strategies for biological drugs at the conference.

Sillajen, a hot stock on Kosdaq, also attends the J.P. Morgan’s conference. Investors pin high hopes that the company will meet with U.S. firm Regeneron, which is conducting a clinical trial on Sillajen’s oncolytic virus Pexa-Vec.

GtreeBNT will introduce its U.S. unit ReGenTree, its pipelines, and drug development plans, to global institutional investors and general investors. GtreeBNT is working on a dry eye treatment using Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), a protein that helps tissues heal.

GtreeBNT has recently completed its phase-3 clinical trial on RGN-259 in the U.S. and said it planned to request drug approval in early this year. Observers said there could be a detailed discussion of a deal at the conference.

Sohn Ji-woong, head of LG Chem’s life science business, will give his first presentation about the company’s business strategies. SK Biopharm will introduce its new treatment on sleep disorder and another new drug to treat epilepsy.

Hanmi Pharmaceutical draws attention whether its CEO Kwon Se-chang will announce new pipelines at the upcoming event. In January last year, he unveiled a new platform technology called Pentambody at the conference.

Dong-A ST Vice Chairman Kang Soo-hyoung and four to five executives at the global business division will also attend the conference in San Francisco this year. The drugmaker has several products ready to hit the global market, including dry eye treatment DA-6034.

Yuhan Corp. will have two or three executive and working-level officials aboard on a flight to San Francisco.

“It is quite rare to see a deal clinched during a J.P. Morgan’s conference, but the event lays the groundwork for deals. There can also be unexpected encounters with investors,” said a pharmaceutical industry official. “Even if a company does not have a presentation, it can enjoy many opportunities of meetings. That is why local firms are rushing to attend the J.P. Morgan’s conference.”


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