JPM 2019: Lilly buys Loxo, Pfizer’s biosimilar bundle and $22 coffee

The 37th JP Morgan Healthcare Conference took place this week. If the extortionate hotel prices kept you away, then BioProcess Insider you some of the highlights from San Francisco.

It’s that time of year again where investors and healthcare executives flock to San Francisco for four days of dealmaking, financial forecasting and – if rumors are to be believed – intense partying.

If other commitments and the decision not to take out a second mortgage (some hotel rooms reached $30,000 per night, while some entrepreneurial baristas charged as much as $22.50 for a cup of coffee) kept you away, then do not despair. BioProcess Insider brings you a selection of what you may have missed.

The 37th JP Morgan Healthcare Conference took place in San Francisco this week. Image: iStock/zimmytws

While Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $74 billion deal to acquire Celgene (reported separately here) stole the show in size, much talk focused on Eli Lilly’s acquisition of Loxo Oncology for a more modest $8 billion.

The deal increases Lilly’s oncology portfolio, including lead candidate LOXO-292, an oral RET inhibitor being studied across multiple tumor types. The candidate received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA in September last year and it could launch in 2020.

“Using tailored medicines to target key tumor dependencies offers an increasingly robust approach to cancer treatment,” said Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer. “Loxo Oncology’s portfolio of RET, BTK and TRK inhibitors targeted specifically to patients with mutations or fusions in these genes, in combination with advanced diagnostics that allow us to know exactly which patients may benefit, creates new opportunities to improve the lives of people with advanced cancer.”

In other developments, Pfizer’s president for worldwide R&D Mikael Dolsten spoke about the firm’s product ambitions for the next twelve months, including “a biosimilar bundle with four high value biosimilars that all have potential registration opportunities this year.

For a fuller flavor of the conference, here are some highlights from Twitter:

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