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Pharma firms flock to JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2020

Samsung BioLogics, Celltrion CEOs to speak at world’s largest health care investment symposium

SAN FRANCISCO -- Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han and Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin are among the South Korean C-level officials making presentations at the 38th JP Morgan Healthcare Conference being held from Monday through Thursday.

Both the executives have been invited to speak on Wednesday at the Grand Ballroom at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, that can accommodate some 800 people.

Kim and Seo are joining the likes of global big pharma firms such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, Merck, Roche, Sanofi and Pfizer.

Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han gives a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2019. (Samsung BioLogics)
Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han gives a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2019. (Samsung BioLogics)

For Samsung BioLogics, this is the second consecutive year it has been invited to make a presentation in the main track. It was the first Korean company to do so, last year. This year, CEO Kim Tae-han and Vice President John Rim will speak on the company’s achievements since foundation in 2011, and the business direction for 2020, the company said.

For Celltrion, this marks a significant occasion as it is an interesting year for Seo as he has promised to retire by the year-end so long as he realizes his dream of direct global sales of Remsima SC, a biobetter of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade.

The annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is the largest health care investment symposium with over 9,000 participants.

Pipeline licensing deals are expected to be sealed this week, as well as high-profile behind-the-doors business negotiations. A company’s participation in the event tends to give its stock price a boost, as investors believe new deals could be signed.

Over 450 private and public companies will give presentations at this year’s event -- from Korea, five other companies are also giving presentations in the emerging markets track.

Innovative pipelines are expected to be brought up by the presenters: Genexine Chairman and founder Sung Young-chul, Hugel CEO Sohn Ji-hoon, LG Chem Life Sciences President Son Jee-woong, Hanmi Pharmaceutical President and CEO Kwon Se-chang and Daewoong Pharmaceutical President and CEO Jeon Seng-ho.

The anticipated total number of health care professionals unofficially joining the conference is expected to go beyond the registered attendees, as many firms forego the hefty-priced conference tickets but still fly in to hold business meetings on the sidelines of the actual event, industry sources say.

Industry insiders expect more than 700 people from Korea will be in the town during the event.

A Korean Night social gathering is being planned on Wednesday evening for networking.

Samsung Bioepis is yet to be mentioned in any known events, but its CEO Ko Han-sung is also in town.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
Korea Herald correspondent