12-28-17 2:18 PM EST | Email Article

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is taking heat from investors, reporters and biotech enthusiasts this week after the company decided to restrict access to its small breakout sessions following presentations at its upcoming 36th Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco Jan. 8-11.

“Company presentations are on-the-record. Press are permitted in the company presentations, however press is NOT permitted in the small breakouts that immediately follow the presentations nor on the 1x1 floors,” JPMorgan said in a notice to reporters. According to STAT News’ Adam Feuerstein, this is the first time in 16 conferences he’s attended at the same venue that press has been banned from breakout discussions.

Other conference attendees took to Twitter to voice their opposition to the decision as well. A spokesperson for JPMorgan reportedly said the new rule was about space, not access to information.

Michael Gilman, founder and CEO of Arrakis Therapeutics, said the decision is thinly veiled political elitism.

Investor Brad Loncar said it’s ridiculous that investors don’t have access to these critical presentations and called for JPMorgan to live stream all the Q&A sessions via webcast.

Others, such as Endpoints News co-founder John Carroll, criticized the event for its cold treatment of attendees.

Investors, members of the press and the biotech community have taken to social media using the hashtag #JPM18 to protest the press ban at the conference.

Related Links:

ASH 2017 Highlights: Gilead, Novartis, Juno, Bluebird Bio And More 

11 Biotech Stocks Moving From ASH 2017

A staircase at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the location of the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. Photo from Pixabay. 

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