• MedWorld Advisors

JP Morgan Conference 2018 - What are some of the key takeaways?

The JP Morgan Conference just ended last week and as always it was full of meetings and annoucements. One thing is for sure 2018 is looking like it will be a very active year again in the world of M&A in Healthcare.

Actually some annoucements such as the one done by Johnson and Johnson could be looked as indicative of the trends to come. It covers everything from straight purchase, to R&D partnerships with companies and Universities, as well as investments in a variaty of ways.

Johnson and Johnson: (Published by BioScape)

  1. University of Pennsylvania – J&J Innovation and Janssen Pharmaceuticals struck an exclusive research collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania's Gene Therapy Program to use Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-vectors developed by the University of Pennsylvania and antibodies targeting Alzheimer's disease developed by Janssen to target Alzheimer’s disease. The collaboration aims to use AAV viral delivery to express therapeutic antibodies that target the main pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

  2. NCICRE – J&J and the Northern California Institute for Research and Education and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center will collaborate to investigate online neuropsychological assessments to monitor brain health in elderly people.

  3. Holobiome Corporation – J&J and Holobiome will team up to explore the role of the microbiome in sleep. The groups will examine bacteria that could be used to create a differentiated probiotic or over-the-counter offering that addresses sleeplessness.

  4. WinterLight Labs – The companies will attempt to leverage artificial intelligence to predict neurodegenerative diseases. They will analyze voice samples from Janssen’s ongoing clinical trials in Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases to predict dementia and neurodegenerative diseases long before clinical symptoms become apparent.

  5. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research – The MIT-based institute and J&J will attempt to create multidisciplinary approaches to prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer.

  6. Queensland University of Technology – The collaboration will attempt to develop a saliva-based diagnostic for early detection of throat cancers in patients before invasive treatments are needed.

  7. MiRXES Pte Ltd. – The groups will develop a novel lung cancer diagnostic test with the aim to improve the detection of early-stage disease.

  8. Dermala Inc. – The companies will develop microbiome-derived treatments for skin conditions.

  9. Monash University – The collaboration is aimed at exploring the underlying triggers of psoriasis to discover and develop potential new treatments that prevent future occurrences of the disease.

  10. Monash University – A second collaboration will work to establish the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office @ Monash.

  11. MiNDERA – The deal looks to advance a minimally invasive microneedle device to better enable the research, diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory skin diseases at the molecular level.

  12. Beacon Discovery Inc. – The companies will collaborate on a G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GCPR) drug discovery incubator, to discover and develop next-generation therapeutics to treat obesity and other metabolic diseases.

  13. Queensland University of Technology - In a second collaboration, J&J Innovation and the university will research and develop novel contact lenses to slow the progression of myopia.

  14. Narayana Nethralaya Foundation – J&J Innovation and the foundation will develop tools to identify a person's unique vision-care needs to help facilitate the matching of vision correction options.

  15. Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute – The groups will develop co-funding agreements for projects in lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, eye health and digital health initiatives. Published by BioSpace

What was announced by J&J was very much in line with what transpired at the conference:

- In the US the economy is posivite, the stock market continues to be on the up trend.

- The new tax laws are expected to bring on a feeding frenzie creating a positive impact

to the bottom line of many major corporations and small ones as well.

- It is all about Strategy !!! Deals are happening to fit strategic roadmaps more than ever

and are driven from the top. It means that it will be about Strategic Fit + Timing ! (we

have been saying this all along).

- Partnerships at many levels are hotter than ever.

- Strategics are involves with companies at all stages .

- PE Firms are involved in healthcare more and more.

- They are looking for established and profitable companies to grow.

- PE Firms are starting to look overseas for companies to buy if they already have

investments in healthcare.

- For the ones looking to enter this Industry a US based company is what they are

looking for

- Higher multiples are paid as fewer "good" companies are available for purchase.

While at the conference it was clear that our industry is looking for ways to grow, reduce costs, keep up with changes in technology, keep up with more poeple having access to healthcare, and make a higher impact on our quality of life.

2018 is off to a good start!