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The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, biotech’s biggest annual conference, will be virtual, the bank said Wednesday, bowing to pressure from big-name drug companies that balked at an in-person meeting amid escalating cases of Covid-19.

“The health and safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance, and given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have made this decision,” J.P. Morgan said in an email to registered attendees, obtained by STAT. “We were not only hopeful to meet in-person but also understand how much this conference means to the San Francisco community, which we fully support.”


The bank’s decision follows news that Moderna, Amgen, and other major biotech firms would forgo their coveted slots at the meeting in the name of health and safety. J.P. Morgan had previously insisted that any company wishing to present at its conference would have to send its executives to the Westin St. Francis Hotel, the meeting’s cramped annual venue.

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