DCAT’s Back / Back at DCAT

29/03/2022
Insights
Jason Foss

For the first time in forever it felt like the good old days were back in midtown Manhattan at everyone’s favourite pharma supply chain conference

The hotels. The meetings. The dinners. Walking up and down Lexington Avenue and bumping into friends and colleagues. It was all happening again at DCAT last week in New York.

For the first time in over two years I finally got back to a conference that made things feel normal. And yes, normal at these conferences is a slog – ten meetings a day, racing from hotel to hotel to make the next appointment, too many steak dinners and not enough exercise… But after two years of zoom meetings and isolation in the basement, the opportunity for some face-to-face interaction made the slog worthwhile.

What were the key topics of conversation? I didn’t stay for the gala dinner on Thursday evening, so I I’m not sure what Mr. Clooney had to say, but here are some of the tidbits I picked up from the rest of the cognoscenti:

Broad market dynamics for the biopharma market remain robust. With a few exceptions, Covid didn’t create headwinds in that regard. Growth continues to look good through the medium term. Everyone’s trying to figure out the best way to take advantage.

Anyone got a factory? Capacity is in high demand and short supply. Especially in the US. Especially for API production. Or sterile fill. Better take a number.

Let’s make a deal – with a high price. Whisper numbers were not exactly modest for some of the big deals that are (or may soon be) in process right now. No sign of let up in this seller’s market.

War! What is it good for? On a more somber note, everyone is mindful of the situation in Ukraine. While most groups are not being directly impacted, there are some that are, and those companies providing essential medicines in Ukraine and / or Russia are doing yeomen’s work to be sure. More broadly, the conflict has everyone thinking about the implications of potential conflict even half as bad in Asia. Covid started the onshoring discussion. Will the war in Ukraine accelerate real action? Most people seem to think it should, but the task is a daunting one and there are questions about the political, popular and corporate will to make it happen. Stay tuned…

That’s it from here. For now I’m back in the basement – counting the weeks until BIO in sunny San Diego.