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SAN FRANCISCO — At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, as in life, scheduling is everything.

Several hundred biopharma companies scored an invitation to give a corporate presentation during this week’s industry confab — but they won’t all have an equal chance to win over investors. Some will be presenting in more glamorous rooms, with more room to fit more investors, on a day more likely to draw an energized crowd.


Consider the most extreme of contrasts: On one hand, there’s industry giant Celgene (CELG), which got its usual ultra-desirable 7:30 a.m. slot on the conference’s first day on Monday, in the Westin St. Francis hotel’s impressive 10,700-square-foot Grand Ballroom. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s poor Mesoblast (MSB), a long-troubled stem cell company that has lost nearly 90 percent of its share value since 2011. Mesoblast’s sorry assignment: a cramped 1,000-square-foot room (the smallest being used for JPM presentations) at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday — just half an hour before the conference’s official close and well after plenty of attendees have already boarded their homebound flights.

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