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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Readout by Damian Garde & Meghana Keshavan

Happy J.P. Morgan week to you all. Follow @damiangarde, @pharmalot, and @RebeccaDRobbins for the latest from San Francisco, and @megkesh for biotech news from outside the Westin bubble.

It's that time of year again

(Alex Hogan/STAT)

The time has come for another J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, when thousands of besuited biotech pros blot out the pavement of San Francisco’s Union Square to wheel, deal, and try to figure out what’s in store for their volatile industry. 

After a by-any-measure brutal 2016, biotech insiders are cautiously optimistic that things are bending toward their favor this year. The election is over, for one, and generalist investors seem to be easing back toward trusting the sector. Perhaps most important: Biotech is expecting a return to the rampant dealmaking that made its boom so lucrative.

And you all are optimistic, too. Last week, we asked Readout readers how the Nasdaq biotech index would trade after J.P. Morgan; nearly 80 percent of respondents predicted it would move upward.

Now the question is whether J.P. Morgan-related exuberance can translate into a macro change in biotech sentiment, or whether the flurry of announcements will mostly amount to noise. As Baird analyst Brian Skorney, said, “I certainly imagine there will be 25 companies that are up or down 25 percent next week. And I’m sure there’s going to be 150 press releases that do nothing.”

What a drug's lifespan tells us about pricing

Peering closely at the lifespan of a medication can reveal the shifting forces in drug development — and paint a picture of how drug pricing has soared in recent years. You can see these forces take shape in a new report from the QuintilesIMS Institute and STAT, released today, which analyzes the lifetimes of 667 new drugs launched stateside over the past two decades.

Read more from STAT's Rebecca Robbins on STAT Plus.

Megadeals! Megadeals! Megadeals!

Speaking of reports, two others were released in the wee hours before JPM — one from EY and the other from Trinity Partners. Both predict an influx of biopharma dealmaking in the coming year, largely because valuations have finally come down to a point where M&A is justifiable.

The reports are chock full of enlightening infographics, including the one from EY below that illustrates the congested, but still compelling, cancer market. Read more on STAT Plus.

Martin Shkreli's been suspended from Twitter

how offal. (the verge)

Looks like it happened because he was harassing reporter Lauren Duca, The Verge reports. We'll miss you, Martin.

More reads

  • A field guide to the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (SF Business Times)
  • Ipsen buys pancreatic cancer drug and other assets from Merrimack (Boston Globe)
  • Vertex kicks off JPM with a disappointing financial guidance (The Street)
  • Medical device companies are taking a closer look at treating Parkinson's disease (Wall Street Journal)

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Thanks for reading! Until tomorrow,

Damian & Meghana

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