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Update: After this story was published, a reader noticed a resemblance between one of the cartoons and a cartoon published in The New Yorker in 1986. Read more here.

WALTHAM, Mass. — For many biotech executives, an invitation to speak at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco is tantamout to an invitation in Hollywood to walk the red carpet on Oscar night. It’s unmistakeable proof that you’ve arrived.

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