February 15, 2023

Ascendia’s Reactions to the Themes We Came Away with from this Year’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

JP Morgan Week 2023 has Ascendia Poised for Continued Growth


jp morgan main image

By Robert Bloder


I've been attending the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference for over 10 years now. In fact, that's where I met Ascendia Founder & CEO Jim Huang, Ph.D. nearly a decade ago. The annual events have become a place where C-suite executives gather, scientists come to discuss the year’s findings, and the industry sort of “resets” as the market recapitalizes. Essentially, it is where business and science meet to “lock and load” for the upcoming year.


The events themselves span over a week, so there are many announcements made, and several presentation opportunities throughout. Most people pop in strategically for a day or two, so there tends to be a lot of “speed dating” and targeted meetings to maximize their time while they’re there. While Jim and I were the only Ascendia Pharmaceuticals representatives who physically attended this year’s JP Morgan events, the entire business development team took part in planning and attending virtually, as the events were offered once again as a hybrid of online and in-person. Our team took part in over 40 meetings over the course of the week.


All of us came away with unique experiences from the JP Morgan events, but there were certainly unifying themes heard throughout, from multiple sources.


Cell and Gene Therapy to Grow

Overall, one of the clearest and most consistent messages that came out of JP Morgan is the data point that cell and gene therapy (CGT) is going to continue to grow at a rate of about 13 to 14 percent. Contract development and manufacturing companies (CDMOs) in general are going to experience growth – probably in the 3% to roughly 6% range - which is good for both markets! As CGT gains critical mass, akin to the sun, it will assert its gravitational pull on Ascendia’s relevant technologies.


Our gene therapy applications with lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are becoming more well known for what was initially a small community – but has grown every day. This is one reason that Dr. Shaukat Ali joined us in 2022 as Sr. Director of Scientific Affairs and Technical Marketing after having worked in the pharma and biotech for nearly three decades. He will help us take the greatest advantage of LNPs and liposomes.


So, the news about CGT research was one of the biggest pieces of information we all came away with this year. For some well-established CDMOs, this relatively smaller single-digit growth might have been somewhat disappointing, but for a company like Ascendia – which has enjoyed a 55% compound annual growth rate over the past three years – it shows how we continue to separate ourselves from our competition, and our innovative enabling solubilization nanotechnologies – AmorSol®, LipidSol®, NanoSol® and Emulsol® - are all fueling the growth, in general. It shows Cell and Gene Therapy is a very good launch pad for us in 2023.


Expanded Capabilities = Growth

We heard from many analysts in San Francisco who continue to follow us and keep a beat on our performance. Almost universally, they were all saying that what makes us perfectly poised to benefit for the advancements in 2023 is the development of our capabilities and skillsets.


A wise man once said, “It takes years to become an overnight success.” This is a fitting description of the calculated steps that have led to the success Ascendia has watched play out throughout our organization.


Others in the industry sell capabilities. Ascendia sells Solutions, having proven we are capable of doing such, with confidence and consistency. This shows our command of GRAS materials and components, along with our ability to traverse multiple dosage forms in sterile and non-sterile, oral, injectables, ophthalmic suspensions, and emulsions that are very difficult to develop. These are robust formulations that can be manufactured reliably and consistently, through the first phase of testing. All of the things we have been doing have us perfectly positioned for years ahead, as Ascendia and our colleagues continue to embrace our BEST (Brilliant technologies, Excellent services, Superior quality and Trust) philosophy.



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