'Tis the season for biopharma investor conferences.
Today is the 16th annual "Newsmakers in Biotech" event put on by Thomson Reuters and BioCentury.
Analysts and investors come to hear formal 30-minute presentations by biopharma execs and then pepper them with questions at 30-minute breakout sessions that follow.
I assumed that because it's been a pretty tough year for cash-starved baby biotechs that there would be fewer presenting companies this year. I was wrong. Organizers say there are three more companies here than last year and there would have been even more if a handful didn't pull out in the last couple weeks.
For example, Arena Pharmaceuticals canceled because it has key data coming out soon on its late-stage experimental diet drug. The other two biopharmas in the final phase of weightloss pill development, though, Orexigen and Vivus, are here.
Organizers also say attendance is comparable to last year.
This conference features smaller companies, but JPMorgan biotech analyst Geoffrey Meacham today turned bullish on big biotech, especially Amgen and Celgene. He cited stock prices, healthcare reform not being as onerous as some had feared and upcoming catalysts among his reasons for getting positive about a strong year-end finish.