August 15, 2018

Investing in What We Need: Life Sciences

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Gandhi

Humans are encountering a dichotomous situation in which we face both increasing threats to our wellbeing and rapidly emerging opportunities for improving it. Above and beyond the environmental threats mentioned in our unintended consequences blog post, we face additional threats to health through:

  • An aging population putting stress on our healthcare system (see below)

  • A shortage of qualified care
  • Legislative instability and polarization
  • Rising healthcare costs in a savings-deficient society

Simultaneously, research and biotechnological advances are uncovering science fiction-like possibilities for improving human health and longevity. We are experiencing exceptional innovation fueled by disruptive research for the benefit of society. One of the most notable recent innovations is gene mapping as part of the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project was developed to make personalized medicine possible, and it maps the 3 billion pairings of the roughly 20,500 human genes.1 At the time this was first completed, it cost about $100,000,000 per genome. Today, thanks to research and innovation, it costs just over $1,000 per genome, and direct genetic targeting could become an integral part of personalized healthcare in the near future.    

Additional areas of improvement include cure rates for hepatitis C and survival rates for melanoma. Advancing treatment techniques have greatly improved the success rates for curing these dangerous diseases, as shown below:

While we face an uphill battle for the continued good health of our society, there are numerous opportunities that can help us climb that hill. Great ideas need resources to materialize, and capital owners can provide those resources that will continue to turn great ideas into innovative solutions. 

 We see a number of areas as potential growth opportunities for investors in the life sciences theme, including:

  • Biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals
  • Medical devices
  • Gene therapy
  • New treatment techniques and pharmaceuticals
  • Medical services

 Arnerich Massena has been focusing research on thematic impact investments in the areas of water, resource efficiency, agriculture, and life sciences – all of which we categorize as “what we need,” which we believe are going to become ever more central as the future unfolds.

Ask us about the current opportunities we are investigating – read our recent blog posts about water and resource efficiency and look for an upcoming blog post on agriculture – and the potential they present for investors.