By Sy Mukherjee
January 9, 2019

Hello and happy hump day, readers.

I finished up the last of my JPMorgan Healthcare conference interviews this morning and am off on my way back to New York. It’s safe to say that the dozens of conversations I’ve had with investors, analysts, digital health and biopharmaceutitcal executives, and others throughout these past three days could easily fill several weeks’ worth of newsletters (and, heck, JPM isn’t actually even over yet).

Take, for example, my conversation with United Neuroscience co-founders Mei Mei Hu and Lou Reese. Their company has set out on an ambitious journey to actually protect against neurological disorders before such conditions have progressed beyond the point of return. That includes work on an Alzheimer’s vaccine, and other treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s. Hu and Reese are quite the pair, too, an enthusiastic duo willing to challenge the conventional wisdom at every turn. (When I asked Hu what got a JD such as herself interested in something as convoluted as biotech, she turned the tables on me and asked, “Have you ever talked to anyone who gets into medicine because they want to discover some random molecule or biomarker?”)

Other notable chats in a spoil of riches included an on-the-record press dinner hosted by the rock star health care VC Venrock; a talk with physician-billionaire and biotech executive Patrick Soon-Shiong, whose firms are attempting to develop a cancer vaccine; Axel Hoos, who heads up oncology R&D at GlaxoSmithKline and had plenty to share on the British drug giant’s plans in the space; and a panel on digital health trends that I had the opportunity to moderate, which included the likes of Novartis chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson and Pear Therapeutics CEO Corey McCann. And that’s just scraping the surface.

I look forward to sharing all these stories, and more, in the coming days. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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