Trending Healthcare News

Concluding another successful year, the 2015 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference has seen its share of announcements, discoveries and unveiling of things to come. Following is a look at some highlights as the conference comes to an end:

–        Bloomberg reported that Pfizer is nixing efforts to get its experimental drugs approved for melanoma, instead focusing its attention on drugs that use the immune system to fight tumors.

–        FierceBiotech compiled a target list of ripe biotechnology companies primed for a merger or acquisition in 2015.

–        Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money spoke with Halozyme CEO Dr. Helen Torley about the company’s efforts in pancreatic cancer and partnerships the company has forged with Big Pharma.

–        Roche announced that it is partnering with genome pioneer J. Craig Venter in a multi-year deal to sequence and analyze tens of thousands of genomes for the company’s Genentech unit with the goal of identifying new drug targets and biomarkers.

–        The Wall Street Journal reported that NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins expressed concern that U.S. funding in innovation is on a dangerous downward trajectory and, if continued, may erode U.S. leadership in drug development.


After four days of the conference, we’ve seen more than 14,000 tweets using #JPM15. TG Therapeutics’ and Bluebird Bio topped the cashtag counts on Wednesday and Thursday, producing 46 tweets each with their cashtags $TGTX and $BLUE.

Some of the most retweeted tweets included:

The shared sentiment of JPMorgan attendees as summarized by John Carroll of FierceBiotech…


Link to full story:





Pharma execs’ thoughts on how and what technologies will be instrumental in transforming medicine via Meg Tirrell…











TheStreet columnist Adam Feuerstein’s light humor…


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JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Logo

It has been only two days at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, yet so much has already happened! Here is a look at some of the highlights to date:

– In an exclusive interview today on the FOX Business Network, J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy will continue to improve after the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates.
– Shire acquired U.S. biotech NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion.
– The Wall Street Journal reported that Genomic Health Inc. plans to develop a line of liquid biopsy tests that can detect genetic evidence of cancer in a vial of blood.
– Medical Devices & Diagnostic Industry emphasized the growing importance of partnership in the shift to value-based healthcare.
– Bloomberg reported that 2015 would be the “pivot point” for oncology and immunotherapy with promising results coming from trials by Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers.
– Reuters reported that the FDA approved Duopa, AbbVie Inc’s treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which works four times longer than current treatments.

After two days of the conference, we saw more than 8,500 tweets using #jpm15. BioMarin’s presentation topped the hashtag count on Monday, producing 66 tweets with its cashtag $BMRN.Runners up included Sarepta Therapeutics, BlueBird Bio, Clovis and Merck.

Some of the most retweeted tweets included:
Genentech’s comments on partnership…

Genentch tweet





Lisa Jarvis, biotech and pharma reporter for Chemical and Engineering News…

Jarvis tweet




More news to come as the conference continues!


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Last night, W2O Group held its ever-popular annual soiree on the eve of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Le Colonial was THE place to be with plenty of engaging conversation, strong drinks and even an appearance by Adam Feuerstein’s conference stand-in.

 Joanna Siegall (WCG) and Laura D'Angelo (BrewLife) meeting and greeting
Joanna Siegall (WCG) and Laura D’Angelo (BrewLife) meeting and greeting
@FauxFeuerstein gets his drink on
@FauxFeuerstein gets his drink on
Jen Gottlieb, Twist Marketing President
Jen Gottlieb, Twist Marketing President
Mike Nelson (WCG) and Joey Fleury (BrewLife)
Mike Nelson of WCG and Joey Fleury of BrewLife
BrewLife's Meredith Kiernan with our Betterpath clients
BrewLife’s Meredith Kiernan with our Betterpath clients
A party guest with Diane Weiser, W2O's Healthcare Practice Lead
Krysta Pellegrino and Diane Weiser, W2O’s Healthcare Practice Lead
BrewLife's Nicole Foderaro with former BrewLifer Denise Powell, and Lisa Borland
BrewLife’s Nicole Foderaro with former BrewLifer Denise Powell, and Lisa Borland
Mr Mischiefs: W2O's Ryan Flinn & Aaron Strout
Mr Mischiefs: W2O’s Ryan Flinn & Aaron Strout
BrewLife President Paulo Simas entertains
BrewLife President Paulo Simas entertains Rakesh Marwah, Palo Alto Investors
WCG's Allison Solomon with BioMarin clients
WCG’s Allison Solomon with BioMarin clients


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W2O Group colleague, Ryan Flinn, wrote a nice piece today about the healthy social showing at the J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference wrapping up in San Francisco this week.

…Many of the attendees felt like the event was quieter than previous years, noting the ease in which one could make their way down the narrow hallway from the Colonial ballroom to the breakout room without being pressed into a human blob. Still, Doug Braunstein, CFO of JP Morgan, noted this year’s event attracted a record 9,200, attendees compared to less than 100 attendees at the first event back in 1983, according to an article by Medical Device Daily.

To the dismay of many in the industry hoping for exceedingly positive proclamations, Adam Feuerstein, the cranky columnist from The Street, continued his social media dominance at the event. His 625 mentions on the social network put him in first place above Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff and Luke Timmerman from Xconomy…

<(Read the full article here.)

Ryan is Director of Earned Media at W2O Group. Before joining us, he was most recently a biotech reporter for Bloomberg News.

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Orexigen, ZS Pharma logos

BrewLife handles Corporate Communications for Orexigen Therapeutics and ZS Pharma, both of whom are attracting interest at this week’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.


As reported, Orexigen rallies after presentation at conference:

  • Shares of Orexigen (OREX +9%) are notably higher on the session.
  • Helping the cause may well be the company’s presentation at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.
  • According to market chatter, the company says it is in “robust” discussions for partnering Contrave.
  • OREX also reportedly says cardiovascular outcomes data gives them a leg up when moving Contrave into diabetes patients.
  • PDUFA date for the drug is June 10.

 The full transcript of the presentation by Orexigen CEO, Michael Narachi is available here.


Meanwhile, ZS Pharma announced positive results from its Phase 3 Trial of ZS-9 in Patients With Hyperkalemia on Monday and many news outlets picked up the story.




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Take a peek at what’s coming out of the first day and a half of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference:

GenomeWeb recapped day one of the conference including positive highlights on Genomic Health and a few of Myriad’s 2013 setbacks.


Reuters reported on Regeneron’s $400 million in U.S. sales of Eylea for the fourth quarter of 2013.

BMS will piggyback its hepatitis C experimental drug with Gilead’s approved pill, according to Bloomberg News.

Adam Feuerstein published some midday random thoughts on day one of the conference, including mentions of Celgene and Seattle Genetics.

The Pink Sheet reported on chats with the CEOs of Elcelyx Therapeutics and Arecor, and news from Juno Therapeutics and Galena Biopharma.

Scrip reported that there were few empty seats for the Seattle Genetics update on the company’s antibody-drug conjugate pipeline.

Doug Braunstein, CFO of J.P. Morgan, noted the record 9,200 conference attendees compared to less than 100 attendees at the first event back in 1983, according to an article by Medical Device Daily.

twitter2Since the conference opened on Monday morning, there have been nearly 4,000 tweets using #jpm14, with over 2,700 tweets since noon on Monday.

Today’s most retweeted tweet comes from Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post:


Second place goes to Kevin Davies, author of “The $1,000 Genome” and founding editor of Nature Genetics:




The top 5 companies in $Cashtag mentions since noon yesterday are Gilead, Arena, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Biogen and Vertex. All are seeing bumps in their stock price as of 10:45 this morning.

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Tweet from JPM

We’ve captured Twitter highlights from the first day of the 31st J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, held here in San Francisco. Check them out!







Number of tweets:
There have been more than 1,600 tweets using #jpm14 before noon on the first day of the conference.

Most prolific tweeters so far:
1) Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader magazine (@RfwrightLSL), 77 tweets
2) Adam Feuerstein, The Street (@adamfeuerstein), 62 tweets. He also has the most mentioned handle with nearly 150 people mentioning it in their tweets.

twitter@ mentions:

Most are primarily journalists with J&J Innovation being the only company (26 mentions) in the top 10.

Top cashtags:
Celgene made a big splash with their presentation this morning, inspiring 110 tweets with their cashtag $CELG
Alynylam (66 tweets), Sanofi (37 tweets), Seattle Genetics (29 tweets and Merk (24 tweets) round out the rest of the Top 5 most mentioned cashtags

Most retweeted tweets:
Roche   Big news: Dr. Sandra Horning named our new CMO. Here’s her story  #JPM14
Adam Feuerstein   My #JPM14 live blog is up —>  Tweets and updates thru-out the day. Please visit regularly.
 Luke Timmerman   What Biotech Pros Will Be Chirping About at JP Morgan This Week  #JPM14

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When Randy Scott, CEO of InVitae and former CEO/Founder of Genomic Health, asked us to provide communications and strategic support for his bold vision of aggregating all of the world’s genetic tests into a single assay with better quality, faster turnaround and a lower price than most single-gene assays today, I thought: InVitae epitomizes the type of client BrewLife stands for! They represent a revolutionary technology platform and an emerging company with a big story that will change the future of medicine in a complex marketplace.   

SF_officeSince we officially opened the BrewLife doors during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in January, we’ve been attracting new clients like InVitae non-stop, sharing our secret sauce and experience with them. We are now working with emerging companies and brands such as Esperion, SOTIO, Singulex, Teleflex, Loxo Oncology, PetGenius, AliveCor, iRhythm, Coravin and Sequenta, to mention a few—all drawn to our combination of Ph.D.’s, MBAs, former in-house communications executives, and cutting edge creative and digital experts.

At BrewLife we are passionate about our clients, teasing out their story, what makes them special and, more importantly, why it matters. Through our immersive process, we have developed stories for clients going through successful IPOs, preparing for commercial launches, creating a new brand and identity, as well as guiding CEOs through binary milestones. Having spent most of my life in-house at very visible companies, I know what value proposition clients are looking for. Our promise to current and future clients is to apply the right people with the right skill set to help reach their business objectives. 

Since we launched our new company within the W2O Group family, we’ve been enjoying a fun and collaborative office space, mirroring the entrepreneurial spirit of our clients. We are in high growth mode and expect to hire more of the best to serve our clients both strategically and creatively.

Come visit us soon. And stay tuned for more success stories from BrewLife!

Paul Laland

 Paul Laland, Managing Director

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