I'm on my way back from the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Oh, it's still going on for another day-and-a-half or so, but two days is about all I can take.
For four days attendees shuffle through the crowded, narrow hallways of the old Westin St. Francis Hotel from morning 'til evening going from one presentation to the next. It's a lot like herding cattle, except they're all dressed in dark suits.
After doing their formal PowerPoints, CEOs and other execs do a 30-minute q and a breakout session in a smaller room. And depending on the level of investor interest in a company, execs can be locked down in even smaller one-on-one meeting rooms for hours and days on end.
For everyone involved, it can get extremely monotonous and drive a person a little stir crazy.
The execs make these presentations at various conferences all year long. And unless there's news or a development of some kind, the scripts stay pretty much the same. These guys could do this stuff in their sleep. I suspect some of them probably do.
Many of the presentations can be real yawners. It's not uncommon to see people in the audience nodding off. "Here's our Safe Harbor (you can't sue us) statement, here's our pipeline, here's our portfolio, here's our financials," and on and on and over and over. Just change out the company name, the drug and what it's for.
All that is a lead-up to a shoutout to Vertex Pharmaceuticals for thinking outside the PowerPoint. I couldn't go to their session on Tuesday because I myself was locked down doing back-to-back live interviews with CEOs, including VRTX's Matt Emmens.