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WSJBiotech venture capitalists expect a busy year of deal-making with pharmaceutical companies following a productive round of meetings at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week.

With few companies going public, venture investors rely heavily on pharmaceutical M&A and licensing deals to secure returns and capital for portfolio companies. The J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco, which concluded Thursday, is a key partnering event, and this year the tone of the discussions was particularly positive, venture investors said.

In 2009, drug manufacturers were consumed with consolidation and weighed down by the financial crisis. As a result, biotechs were unlikely to get full value from a deal, said Seth Harrison, managing partner of Apple Tree Partners.

Original Article: JPMorgan Conference Lifts Biotech VC Hopes For Pharma Deals - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ

Author: Brian Gormley