Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Getting Ready For The Big One In San Francisco

There are so many research notes flying around this week with analyst calls on the healthcare sector and stocks telling investors where to put and not put their money in the new year.

I've printed all of them to keep them from taking up so much space in my Outlook and to give me some exciting reading material for the long flight to San Francisco on Sunday. There always seem to be headwinds this time of year and the flights take forever. What's more, the flights that originate here on the east coast are overloaded with people like me going out for the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. So, a lot of frequent fliers are on board. So many, in fact, that even with my Elite status I was only able to get a middle seat. I'm not whining, though. I get to escape the northeast for SF just when another cold snap is moving in. I'll deal.

The headwinds have been so strong that a few years ago some flights had to stop in Salt Lake City to refuel. Two years ago we had booked Biogen Idec CEO Jim Mullen for one of our late-day JPM live interviews. He was a big guest. We promoted his appearance heavily. His people told us they'd be flying out from Boston the day of the interview. We warned them that even with the benefit of the three hour time difference that given our experience with headwinds he could be late and miss his slot. We were nervous from the get-go about it being too tight. They ignored our advice. Mullen never made it. We had to scramble to try to find a suitable, last-minute replacement. I wasn't happy.

I'm gonna avoid all the cliches about JPM being the Super Bowl of investment conferences or the grandaddy of them all. As of earlier this week, JPM says 6,500 people are expected to attend (down slightly from last year,) more than 330 public and private companies are presenting and more than 7,500 so-called one-on-one meetings between analysts/investors and execs have been scheduled. Plus, a whole bunch of other meetings take place on the down low all over the city.

I'll be live from there next Tuesday. We sit out Monday because Phil LeBeau will be going wall-to-wall that day from the Detroit Auto Show. So, here's our lineup:

"Squawk On The Street"

9a ET: Amicus Therapeutics CEO John Crowley. The movie, "Extraordinary Measures," starring Brendan Fraser as Crowley, opens in two weeks.

10a ET: Amylin Pharmaceuticals CEO Dan Bradbury. His company's waiting for FDA approval of the first once-a-week diabetes drug.

"The Call"

11a ET: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Chairman and CEO Matt Emmens. His company will have key late-stage data this year on an experimental drug for hepatitis C.

"Power Lunch"

12p ET: Dendreon CEO Dr. Mitchell Gold. His company could win FDA approval this year of a first-of-its-kind cancer treatment.

1p ET: Human Genome Sciences CEO Thomas Watkins. His company could win FDA approval this year of the first new drug for Lupus in about 50 years.

"Street Signs"

2p ET: MannKind Chairman and CEO Al Mann. His company is supposed to get an FDA decision on January 16th (my 48th birthday, btw) on an inhalable form of diabetic insulin.

"Closing Bell"

3p ET: GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty. His first TV interview.

4p ET: Gilead Sciences CEO John Martin. His first CNBC interview in at least four years.

"Fast Money"

5p ET: JPMorgan Senior Biotech Analyst Geoff Meacham

It's biopharmapalooza. Hope you'll tune in. And if you're a PR person or bullish investor, I hope you'll stop pitching me CEO interviews. We're all set. Unless there are headwinds.

Next Week: Health Stocks In Focus

Questions?  Comments? and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman