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Imagining the Future of Biotech Research

In recent years, biotech has experienced a drawdown in the markets, but the sector’s long-term growth drivers have not been impaired. With valuations compressed and innovation accelerating, the case for biotech is growing stronger.

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By Brian Abrahams
Published September 8, 2022 | 2 min watch
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Key Points

  • The world of biotech can be unpredictable, with big valuation swings on data points and sentiment shifts that can surprise even industry experts.
  • It’s critical to challenge short-term market assumptions to gain a clearer understanding of long-term opportunities for investment, growth and value.
  • The future of biotech will be more virtual, connected and complex, as new technologies forever change how we diagnose, prevent and cure diseases.
  • Companies and investors should separate short-term setbacks from long-term success and focus on the signals of future value creation.

For both companies and investors, the world of biotech can be unpredictable, with big valuation swings on data points and sentiment shifts that can surprise even industry experts. That makes it critical to challenge short-term market assumptions to gain a clearer understanding of emerging opportunities for investment, growth and value.

Few industries are better placed to respond to the challenges of the future than biotech – caring for aging and growing populations, accelerating healthcare equality and affordability, and tackling both new and reemerging infectious diseases with new drugs and treatments.

Innovation accelerates growth

Innovation has always been a key driver of the sector and is expected to continue at a rapid pace. Looking ahead, we expect accelerated innovation around new drug targets, design, manufacturing, as well as delivery of advanced cell and gene therapies, and expansion into new diseases, particularly in the cancer, neurology and rare disease spaces.

In vivo will be the next evolution of gene editing technology and holds the potential to find and fix mutations that cause cancer, some infectious diseases and a host of rare genetic disorders with high durability and efficiency. If successful, gene editing could supplant gene therapy and antisense knockdown approaches, which would be revolutionary in genetic medicine.

Many biotechs have also begun to approach longevity as a disease, or at least to weave the concept into their mission. A review of U.S. clinical trial listings suggests that the number of trials starting each year since 2011 addressing aging conditions has tripled from 85 to 255, growing at a CAGR of 12%, and outpacing the growth of new trial starts.

Precision medicine at scale

We continue to see personalized therapeutics making waves and moving from rare diseases to more common indications, potentially expanding the total addressable market and leaving fewer and fewer patients behind.

The shift to telemedicine that’s been accelerated by the pandemic will also continue to influence the sector. Undoubtedly, the future of biotech will be more virtual, connected and complex, as new technologies permanently change how we diagnose, prevent and cure diseases. Telemedicine offers convenience to patients and doctors, cost efficiencies and the dynamics of care will fundamentally change as the offering expands and evolves.

Biotech’s next frontier

Biotech is an ever-evolving sector, with a rapidly changing equities landscape and a proliferation of new breakthrough technologies that will advance how drugs are discovered, targeted and delivered. It’s easy to be discouraged by recent performance, but it’s vital to separate short-term setbacks from long-term value.

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