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China View: JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, 2013

publication date: Jan 10, 2013
author/source: Greg B. Scott, Executive Editor

The annual pilgrimage to San Francisco to attend what is affectionately known as just “JPMorgan” is now over.  After four or five grueling days of back-to-back 30-minute meetings, I’m returning to our headquarters in Shanghai, via San Diego.  Interest in China was very high – most companies included a China Strategy in their presentations, as investors are demanding to know how their portfolio companies are going to address the world’s third largest, soon to be second largest, global market. For any China life science company wishing to export to the West, or US/European company that is looking to leverage China’s 22% market growth, JPMorgan is a must-attend event.

Over the years, it has become more and more difficult to define the JPMorgan event.  It has evolved from a standalone conference, in the bygone days when it was known as H&Q (Hambrecht and Quist), and has become an ecosystem of conferences, receptions, one-on-one meetings, and highly planned, general chaos.  You can’t possibly take it all in, and you need to plan carefully, or you’ll end up like I did one day, where each of my meetings was about 6 blocks from the preceding one.  Well, at least I got my exercise, and lost a bit of weight as a result.

The hubbub at the Westin St. Francis is now much more subdued, as you cannot even enter the hotel unless you are registered for the conference, which is by invitation only.  Now the throng has moved out onto the sidewalk and to the coffee shops on Union Square, as well as to the supporting events.  Of course,  I focused my time on China-oriented sessions and receptions, as well as many meeting with companies wanting to know more about how they can leverage the funding, R&D talent and huge market base in China through partnering, JVs, licensing, etc.

Given the chaos, should China pharma/medtech companies come and subject themselves to the annual San Francisco extravaganza? Absolutely. It is the only place where every company that matters is present at the same time.  Of course, just showing up won’t do the job.  It takes weeks, even months, of planning and scheduling to make JPMorgan effective.  And be sure to include some of the better side events – like EBD Group’s Biotech Showcase, or OneMed Forum/China Forum, ChinaBio’s own Executive Workshop, held this year in conjunction with the law firm, Morrison Foerster, or the New Paradigms in Funding conference.  Plus BayHelix, an association of China-based life science executives and a partner of ChinaBio, hosted two receptions, in conjunction with Cooley and UCSF, attracting a large number of members and friends.

So what about 2014?  My recommendation is GO.  Attend the conferences, arrange meetings with companies that have defined China as a key part of their strategy, and attend the receptions to network – often some of the most productive meetings are totally unplanned.

And if you decided to go, let me know.  I’d love to meet you there, or work with you to make your trip the huge success is should be.

Greg B. Scott
Publisher, Executive Editor, ChinaBio® Today
Founder, President, ChinaBio® LLC





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