The JPMorgan 25th Annual Healthcare Conference has been jampacked with people and presentations out of companies from Amgen ( AMGN) to Qiagen ( QGEN). For investors, sorting through all of the data and trying to figure out how to make money with it is no small feat. Therefore, rather than add to the information overload, it's best to get right down to the news you need to know. We'll start with Celgene ( CELG), where Dr. Sol Barer's presentation was heavy on cheerleading. The CEO raved about his company's achievements in 2006, all while warning that last year's revenue would be below consensus estimates, as would 2007 sales and profits. Based on the effusive commentary about Revlimid, the company's personnel and its global expansion, you'd never know those forecasts were anything to worry about. The Medicines Company ( MDCO) CEO Clive Meanwell also was upbeat in his comments, although at least he was detailing a positive development -- that the antihypertension drug Cleviprex met its primary and secondary endpoints in phase III safety trials. The presentation was also the first time the trade name Cleviprex was introduced. The drug was formerly known as clevidipine. Meanwell said that more than 30% of doctors surveyed preferred Cleviprex to current treatments based on available data. However, he cautioned that surveys don't necessarily translate to real-world results. Still, the findings were encouraging. Not surprisingly, Meanwell neglected to discuss the legislative loss the company suffered last month in its bid to get a bill passed that would extend the patent on blood thinner Angiomax.
It's Not Me, It's You
Considering that Amgen is the world's second-biggest biotech by market cap, trailing only Genentech ( DNA), its presentation was rather plain vanilla. CEO Kevin Sharer blamed Enbrel's disappointing 10% revenue increase (through Sept. 30) on the lack of growth of the psoriasis market. Along with psoriasis, Enbrel also treats various forms of arthritis. Myriad Genetics ( MYGN) barely mentioned halting the development of a treatment for prostate cancer, instead emphasizing the strength of its molecular diagnostics business, as well as its Alzheimer's program.