My Biotech Investing Advice For 2021

Typically, this time of year, I’m unpacking my bags after returning from a week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

But for obvious reasons, this was no ordinary year.

The J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference is the most important healthcare investment conference of the year.

More than 10,000 executives, institutional investors and analysts cram hotel hallways, ballrooms and lobbies; pack restaurants and coffee shops; and even meet in the park, weather permitting… all hoping to get a leg up on the next great healthcare investment.

Every year, big mergers and acquisitions, as well as important clinical trial data and lucrative licensing deals, are announced. Healthcare stocks move sharply on the news coming out of the conference.

And for the following several weeks, things calm down as investors digest all of the information and follow up on their research.

This year, things are different. The meeting was virtual, so there were no crowded rooms and no sea of suits invading Union Square.

In fact, I’d argue the event was a bit of a dud.

That’s not anyone’s fault. J.P. Morgan did a fantastic job with its technology, as meetings mostly went off without a hitch. But the companies didn’t time big announcements to coincide with the conference like they usually do.

What does that mean for investors?

Plenty.

Biotech stocks often run up in advance of the conference, make a big move during the conference if they have an important announcement and then quiet down as the sector corrects a little bit.

Because we didn’t see a lot of major news this year, that means there are lots of catalysts still out there waiting to happen.

For example, there are many companies waiting on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for their drugs, including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' (REGN) evinacumab to treat patients with very high cholesterol and TG Therapeutics (TGTX) umbralisib to treat marginal zone lymphoma.

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Edward Simon 1 month ago Member's comment

Marc, what are some possible M&As that you see in BioTech and Pharma this year? What impact will the new vaccines have on this activity?