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NEW YORK, Jan 21, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Piper Jaffray & Co. is pleased to host its 16th annual Health Care Conference Tuesday-Thursday, Jan. 27-29 in New York. This year's conference will feature presentations from over 120 of the most highly regarded and influential public company management teams within biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, information-driven health care and lab services, diagnostics and blood management & safety, drug discovery and biotechnology sectors. In addition, more than 50 of the leading late- stage private companies in the health care universe will present on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We believe health care is one of the most consistent sectors for investors in today's marketplace," said Robert Peterson, head of Investment Research for Piper Jaffray. "This year's health care conference line-up is complete with large, mid, small-cap and private companies that will provide clients with direct insight and knowledge to assist with their investing decisions."

Highlighting the conference will be nine separate panels and special presentations addressing high-profile issues affecting the entire health care industry, including:

  1. Advanced Bearing Materials for Orthopedic Implants The panel will be comprised of four orthopedic surgeons, including Michael Jacobs, M.D., Richard Laskin, M.D., Stephen Murphy, M.D. and Harry Rubash, M.D. They will address advanced bearing materials for orthopedic implants, one of the key "hot topics" related to the reconstructive segment of the orthopedics market.
  2. Speaker Richard Pazdur, M.D., F.A.C.P.: FACP Director, Division of Oncology Drug Products Office of Drug Evaluation, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
  3. New Medicare Legislation: Risks/Opportunities for Investors The panel, led by R. Alexander Vachon, III, Ph.D., President, Hamilton PPB, Washington D.C., will provide insight into what sectors will win and what sectors will lose in light of the Medicare law.
  4. The Growing Importance of Pharmacogenomics The panel will explore the ramifications of the FDA draft guidelines and emerging trends in pharmacogenomics for both the drug development industry and suppliers of instruments, technology and content. The panel will be led by Barry Greene, Chief Operating Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. & former General Manager of Oncology for Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Velcade); Charles R. Cantor, Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer of Sequenom; Brad Margolus, Chief Executive Officer, Perlegen Science, Inc., Hakon Hakonarson, Vice President of Clinical Sciences, deCODE genetics, Inc. and Doug Dolginow, Senior Vice President, Pharmacogenomics of Gene Logic.
  5. New Technology and Trends in Diabetes Care The panel led by Henry Anhalt, DO, Director, Pediatric Endocrinology, Kelly Close, Consultant & Type 1 Diabetic and Howard Wolpert, M.D. will explore emerging trends and products for treatment of diabetes with leading clinicians in the field.
  6. 505(b)2 Regulatory Pathway: Legalities and Opportunities The panel led by Jim Czaban, Shareholder Partner, Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe and Donald Barbeau, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Barbeau Pharma, will discuss the legal basis for the 505(b)2 pathway and the breadth of its potential uses.
  7. Drug Coated Stents: What Happened in the Real World? The panel led by Lloyd Klein, M.D., Keith Folkert, M.D. and Manish Parikh, M.D., will focus on the changes and effects of the Cypher drug eluting stent.
  8. Key Debates in Nephrology in 2004 The panel will explore the expected impact of the recently published K/DOQI guidelines and new treatments in late-stage development for the use of biotech drugs for kidney disease, in particular Genzyme's Rena for hyperphosphatemia. The panel will be led by Dr. Jaime Uribarri, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Richard Sherman, M.D., Medical Director of ESRD Services, Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
  9. Diagnostics in the ED & ICU The panel will discuss the need and opportunity for new diagnostic tests in the management of patients with acute, life-threatening conditions such as stroke, unstable angina and sepsis. Panel members include: Dr. Neil Halpern, Chief of Critical Care Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Steve Davidson, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center and Dr. Peter Wyer, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center.

Company and investor participation for the Piper Jaffray Health Care Conference is by invitation only. Clients interested in attending should contact their Piper Jaffray representative. Members of the media who would like to attend should contact Susan Beatty at (612) 303-5680 or .

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray & Co., a subsidiary of Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), is a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments -- Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Investment Research, an independent group reporting to the CEO, supports clients of both segments. The firm serves corporations, government and non-profit entities, and institutional investors on a national basis and serves the financial advisory needs of private individuals predominantly across the western half of the United States. The firm has over 2900 employees in 123 offices in 23 states across the country and in London, England. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at .

SOURCE Piper Jaffray & Co.

Susan Beatty, Public Affairs and Media Relations of Piper Jaffray & Co., +1-612-303-5680