LSX and Jefferies – Insights from the busiest week in European biotech 

The LSX Inv€$tival Showcase kicked off a hectic week in life sciences on 15 November, with these two key events in the biotech calendar making one of the busiest weeks of the year. 

Investors and biotechs saw this as a vital chance to meet up and discuss strategies and potential deals amid these dicey market conditions. 

Eloise McLennan at pharmaphorum has summarised proceedings at LSX well, with investors recalling enduring some difficult times during 2010. 

The take-home message was that, despite the challenges, innovation has not halted and companies are already preparing for an upswing when the geopolitical situation has improved. 

Discussions dovetailed neatly into the LSX Lifestars Awards, which were held at the same venue – London’s Old Billingsgate.

We enjoyed a fantastic night and were delighted to celebrate with our clients when they won awards at this prestigious event. 

There was a strong showing from Optimum’s clients, with Synaffix scooping Biotech Company of the Year, Sofinnova Partners winning Venture Capital Firm of the Year and SpliceBio winning Series A Finance Raise of the Year. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, similar topics arose at the Jefferies Healthcare Conference 2022, held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London.  

The conference was well attended with some lively panel discussions about how to manage a business in difficult market conditions. 

One panel heard from Jan van de Winkel, CEO of Genmab, who gave some thoughts from his own experience about how to manage a biotech business in a recession. 

Van de Winkel said that the challenges of the previous recession in 2010 led to the company refocusing on its research into antibodies, which a few years later led to substantial revenues from a licensing deal with Johnson & Johnson for the blood cancer drug Darzalex (daratumumab). 

Unlike most biotechs, Genmab has its own revenue streams thanks to the success of the drug and is able to push on with developing a new generation of drugs, despite the difficult market conditions. 

It was a pragmatic message from van de Winkel, who has been able to build a biotech powerhouse after enduring the adverse market conditions after the deep recession downturn of 2008. 

With that in mind, the Jefferies conference allowed biotechs to put in some much-needed groundwork as they look to raise money from investors in 2023. 

Jefferies remains one of the most influential healthcare conferences in the European diary and the market’s attention now shifts to the start of 2023 and the JP Morgan healthcare conference in January. 

With share prices depressed, it’s possible that there could be some consolidation as big pharma still has deep pockets and will always need to update their research pipelines. It will be interesting to see whether JP Morgan leads to the usual flurry of M&A.