UTSanDiego.com

Biotech 2013 Kickoff Party: J.P. Morgan Investor Confab

Tickers in this article: AEGR AMGN AMRN ARIA ARNA AVEO BIIB CELG DNDN FOLD GILD IDIX KERX MNKD NKTR NPSP ONXX SRPT VRTX VVUS ZIOP

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- I used to call the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference the "Super Bowl of biotech investing confabs." This year, I'm retiring that moniker for "Life Sciences Lollapalooza."

On the main stage, of course, will be the few hundred biotech, drug and healthcare companies presenting their 2013 stories to thousands of institutional investors, all running around like rats in the maze-like hallways of the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

Outside the J.P. Morgan hotel, on satellite stages scattered across downtown San Francisco, scores of hangers-on biotech conferences and meetings will be taking place. It's quite the scene.

Next week's J.P. Morgan conference will be my thirteenth. As always, I'll be on site to cover and analyze all the breaking news, rumors and goings-on inside and outside the Westin St. Francis. The fun starts Monday.

This year, my plan is to rely heavily on Twitter and live blogs to cover the conference in real time. When I hear something juicy from a biotech executive or investor, you'll read it too. My daily live blogs, which you'll find easily on TheStreet's home page, will capture all my tweets, just in case you're one of those people not hip to Twitter quite yet.

To help prep for next week, I've prepared capsule summaries of some (but not all) of the major story lines and questions for biotech and drug companies presenting at the conference.

Monday, Jan. 7

Celgene (CELG) : If tradition hold, Celgene will pre-announce fourth-quarter earnings and offer 2013 financial guidance. Right now, 2013 consensus stands at $5.54 per share in earnings on total revenue of $6 billion. I don't have consensus pegged for 2013 Revlimid sales but J.P. Morgan analyst Geoff Meacham is at $4.31 billion (15% year-over-year growth), which he says is "marginally below consensus." Remember, Celgene typically goes conservative with early guidance so it can "beat and raise" later in the year.

Celgene always garners a lot of attention at the conference but perhaps more so this year because of three very near-term catalysts: 1) Presentation of data from the Abraxane phase III study in pancreatic cancer at a cancer research meeting Jan. 24-26; 2) the FDA approval decision for pomalidomide in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma on or before Feb. 10; and 3) top-line results from the "MM-020" study of Revlimid in front-line multiple myeloma (transplant ineligible patients) expected in the first quarter.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) : The good: Sales of Onyx's multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis came out of the gate smoking hot. The not-so-bad: Investors now expect the strong launch to continue. There are definitely worse problems for a biotech company to have going into 2013, but Onyx does need to be mindful that investor expectations are growing (even if sell-side models may still be lagging.) Speaking of, the current sell-side 2013 sales consensus for Kyprolis is approximately $200 million.