01.05.19 | Forbes
By Steve Brozak
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For years, Celgene presided as de facto master of ceremonies at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference by being the opening act of this premier life sciences event. Tens of thousands of healthcare executives and investors have flocked to the conference every year to initiate strategic conversations that set the global healthcare tone for the rest of the business year. Ironically, it’s also where companies show up to demonstrate how busy they were at the end of the previous year by announcing transactions, sometimes with a whimper, sometimes with a bang.
Why did Celgene get this spot? It was an example of healthcare activism, not about take overs, but about challenging the healthcare status quo and JP Morgan was the bank that stepped up to the plate to finance its breakthrough. Celgene was a model marriage of science and industry that was groundbreaking in its day. Can another biotech model like it exist in today’s environment? We’ll see when the next healthcare crisis presents itself. Can a corporate culture like Celgene’s survive as it is absorbed into the big pharma vortex? Probably not, but we’ll see.