BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The much ballyhooed J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference kicks off Monday in San Francisco. Over the course of four days, more than 300 publicly traded biotech, pharmaceutical, life sciences and healthcare service companies will pitch their latest and best investment stories to crowded rooms of investors. Healthcare investment conferences are a dime a dozen, but "JPM" is the oldest and largest so it's a big deal. Investors pay close attention.
To help prep for next week, I've prepared capsule summaries of some (but not all) of the major story lines and questions for biotech and drug companies presenting at the JPM conference. For those not lucky enough to snag an invite, I've included link to webcasts. Hopefully, more companies will be wise enough to webcast primary investor presentations AND the follow-up Q&A breakout sessions. I've noted below the "nice" companies webcasting both.
Here's part one, which covers companies presenting at JPM on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Celgene always provides financial guidance during its JPM kickoff morning presentation. Current 2015 consensus has the company earning $4.92 per share (adjusted) on total revenue of $9.2 billion. Recall, Celgene previously provided long-term guidance out to 2017 of $7.50 in adjusted EPS and total revenue of $13-14 billion. Will Celgene upsize its 2017 guidance or extend the forecast?
Hot topics: Revlimid front-line multiple myeloma approval in the U.S. and Europe; resolution of Revlimid patent situation; Otezla U.S. launch and European approvals; new Crohn's data on GED-0301; and commentary on partner programs, most notably CAR-T plans with Bluebird and Agios Pharma's cancer metabolism drug AG-221. Will Celgene make a strategic shift in the way it uses cash -- a dividend or larger acquisitions -- rather than partnerships?
What does the pharmacy benefit manager have to say about premium drug pricing and using strong-arm tactics like formulary exclusion to force companies to offer discounts?
CAR-T. CAR-T. CAR-T. Is there really anything else?
Listen for discussion about the imminent approval and commercial launch of Kalydeco-lumacaftor combination therapy in cystic fibrosis patients with the homozygous 508-del mutation. How will Vertex price the combination therapy in the U.S. and Europe; and does it have contingency plans if insurers (or European governments) push back and try to throttle reimbursement? Vertex is expected to announce results from a clinical trial involving its next generation cystic fibrosis drug VX-661 early in 2015, so perhaps at JPM? Everyone knows Vertex squandered its early lead in hepatitis C, so what steps is the company taking to ensure the same doesn't happen in cystic fibrosis?
Any additional information or guidance on the approval filing delay for the breast cancer drug neratinib? When will the company be sold? What happens if there are no interested buyers?
Who is taking over as CEO?
Hot topics: An update on the Vimzim commercial launch. Commentary on BM-111 data in achondroplasia expected later this year. The Prosensa (RNA) acquisition isn't closed yet but discuss the progress being made on the FDA approval filing for drisapersen. What's the company's strategy winning a positive vote at the inevitable FDA advisory panel? Consensus estimate has BioMarin generating revenue of $877 million in 2015, so when will the company finally start generating a profit?
What, if any, potential advantages does Sangamo's zinc-finger approach to treating beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease have over Bluebird's (BLUE) - Get Report gene therapy? Is the zinc finger technology becoming obsolete given the interest in newer gene editing techniques like CRISPR?
Mon. Jan. 12 at 5:30 PM ET
Why is Imbruvica prescription growth flattening? What will be the drug's next leg of growth?
Discuss further the anti-LINGO-1 study results in acute optic neuritis? What does Biogen see in the anti-LINGO-1 data to be optimistic about the drug's potential in multiple sclerosis? Will the company disclose any further information or data on its beta amyloid Alzheimer's drug BIIB037? How's the hemophilia launch progressing? Can the company re-assure investors that Tecfidera growth remains robust? Biogen doesn't provide financial guidance at JPM but the current 2015 consensus estimate is adjusted earnings of $16.33 per share on total revenue of $11.2 billion.
Flip the page for a preview of Tuesday's presenting companies at JPM
Hot topics: More details about the early commercial launch of the Contrave obesity pill in the U.S. (Initial prescription growth has been impressive.) With Europena approval of Contrave widely expected, what is Orexigen doing to sign up a marketing partner?
Drug pricing. Reimbursement. Formulary exclusions.
Hmmm... I wonder what investors want to hear from Gilead executives? In case you've been in a coma for the past few weeks, the hot topics will be 1) hepatitis C drug pricing and competition for market share; 2) the next leg of growth in the core HIV franchise; and 3) what the company intends to do with its big mountain of cash. Gilead doesn't provide financial guidance until its year-end call, but the company is expected to earn $9.85 per share (adjusted) on total revenue of $28.7 billion (total product sales of $28.2 billion.)
This presentation might be the most well-attended at the conference given Express Scripts' aggressive moves to lower drug costs. Will any investor in the audience ask if/when consumers might expect drug cost savings to be passed down to them? Or, is Express Scripts only focused on boosting its own profit margin?
Hot topic: The pricing, commercial launch and reimbursement expectations for evolucumab, Amgen's cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitor.
Updates on the meetings with European and U.S. regulators about the approval filing of migalastat in Fabry disease.
Assure investors that the delayed pimavanserin approval filing in Parkinson's related psychosis will finally be completed in the first quarter, as promised. Will we get data from the phase II study of pimavanserin in Alzheimer's related psychosis in 2015?
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback;
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