Thank You for Investing in Science

Here is a message to everyone who has been investing in the biotech sector lately: thank you for investing in science. While the tragedies of this year’s pandemic will weigh deeply in our hearts forever, there are things about this moment in time we will one day look back on with rightful pride. Things such as the way healthcare workers bravely rallied to serve patients, how society’s unsung heroes from truck drivers to grocery store clerks reminded us of their vital roles, and how the scientific community’s all-hands-on-deck effort to combat the virus gave us hope that the problem could one day be solved during even the darkest hours.

As a biotech investor, I am keenly aware of science’s role in all of this. We need to continue investing in it. 2020 was the year that the entire world saw how vital the biotech sector is to the normal functioning to society. It is a reminder that even investors can make an impact. Due in part to those of you who have already been investing in the sector, science was thankfully prepared. The biotech sector has already produced two vaccines with record speed that appear to be 90{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1}+ effective and may very well end this once and for all. While measures like social distancing can do important blocking of the virus, only science can tackle COVID for good.

In addition to witnessing how vital biotech is to society, the whole world has also seen what a transformational era this is for science. For example, it has been amazing to see messenger RNA become a household name. The way mRNA succeeded for the first time in the setting of the pandemic is a triumph of scientists who have worked on it for decades. Its success is due to their hard work, critical government funding of basic science, and billions of investor capital that has helped companies like Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) and BioNTech (Nasdaq: BNTX) be in a position to rise to the challenge. Those investments paid off big.

This was the year biotech investing went mainstream, and I think it is here to stay. To those who know the sector’s progress, the recognition has been long overdue. The fact that biotech is often seen as a niche has previously been a point of frustration among biotech specialists. There are so many exciting things in development like mRNA that have the potential to transform medicine, but the average person doesn’t necessarily see them. In a normal year, tech grabs all the headlines because everyone can relate to seeing a Tesla driving down the street or using an app like Twitter. Biotech advances, on the contrary, are highly technical and usually hidden from most people.

For those who are new to biotech and have been inspired by the industry’s response to COVID this year, the good news is that there has never been a more exciting time to invest in science. mRNA is just the tip of the iceberg of potential gamechangers being researched in labs and clinical trials around the world. Immunotherapy in cancer, precision medicine, gene therapy, and CRISPR gene editing are just a handful of terms you will be hearing a lot about over the coming years if you haven’t already. These things are making a huge impact today yet are still in their infancy. They will change the world. I strongly believe that many of the exciting advances of the coming decades will be in biology.

Biotech investing can be daunting because it is so technical, risky, and volatile. Investing via a professionally managed fund is typically the best route for most investors. And with all the exciting science out there, many challenges and risks, such as the endemic drug pricing problem in the United States, must still be overcome for the sector to reach its full potential and produce outperforming returns. For those who do insist on going it alone, all I can say is be careful and always try to invest in the things that will have the biggest impact on patients’ lives. With the good, there are also some questionable ideas peddled by our sector that might sound enticing but are unlikely to impact real lives.

When done right though, the awesome thing about biotech is it can be the ultimate impact investment, as we have seen this year. What bigger impact can you make than backing new treatments that might help people one day? The real superstars of the biotech industry are the researchers who are developing new medicines and the patients who are participating in clinical trials. But investors in our own small way have something to contribute too. Your capital has already helped advance science to where the industry was able to score its big vaccine wins this year. Thanks in part to you, lives will be saved. Thank you for investing in science

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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