What Advances In Genomic Tech May Mean For Investors

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Karim Nurani is an entrepreneur, investor and CSO of Linqto.

In private market investing, healthcare hasn’t historically been the most enticing industry for individual investors. After all, compared to some other industries, healthcare has long proof-of-market-viability time horizons and has lagged in embracing digitization and technological advancements.

However, a notable shift is underway. Enter health tech, bio tech, precision medicine and diagnostics tech. This burgeoning world of life science advancements has awakened investors’ interest with its financial and healthcare potential. Two personal favorites in this arena are genomic health and CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology.

Genomic Health

The life science domain brims with buzzwords and cutting-edge technologies, all striving to bridge the gap in healthcare innovation. Leveraging both existing and novel technologies, coupled with the expertise of the medical community, we’re witnessing advancements that were once relegated to science fiction now becoming reality.

Take genomic health, a subsector redefining the boundaries of what’s possible. Markets and Markets estimated global genomics market revenue to be $46.2 billion in 2023 and projects it to reach $83.1 billion by 2028.

From unlocking the secrets of DNA to developing personalized treatments tailored to individual genetic profiles, genomic health could represent a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery. But it’s also another buzzword in life science, so let’s break it down.

Genomic health focuses on understanding how a person’s genes (or genome) influence their health and well-being. What’s most interesting about this field is that at its core it has the potential to generate personalized medicine; after all, each of us has a unique genome, so why are treatments so generalized? As explained by the National Human Genome Research Institute, it’s the discipline of using a person’s genomic information as part of their clinical care. It allows healthcare professionals to understand a person’s risk of developing a disease, the response to different treatments and eventually the best course of action.

CRISPR Technology

A promising technology in this space is CRISPR. Put simply, it is a technology used to edit genes. Today its use is limited to scientists, but essentially it’s used to either remove unwanted sections of DNA, insert new DNA sequences or modify existing ones. It’s like editing a sentence in a book by cutting out certain words and replacing them with others. However, I believe this technology has incredible future potential, especially for treating genetic diseases, but also for developing new therapies and understanding how genes function.

Imagine a scenario where CRISPR is used to treat a genetic disorder such as Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene, leading to the production of a toxic form of the huntingtin protein that damages nerve cells in the brain. What’s worse is that today there’s no cure, only treatments to manage symptoms.

With CRISPR, scientists could target the specific mutation in the huntingtin gene and edit it out of the DNA sequence. By correcting the mutation, CRISPR could prevent the production of the toxic huntingtin protein, slowing down or halting Huntington’s disease progression.

Again, we have a solution to specific problems that could bring enormous value to a specific set of customers in a specific market.

Investing In Genomic Innovation

These technologies are still in their early days, so the risk of investing in companies in the sector is high. The flip side of that risk is the potential for high returns.

These sectors are not only attracting investors for their potential financial gains, but also for the profound impact they could have on shaping the future of healthcare. However, it’s crucial to be patient and exercise diligence, recognizing that the journey toward widespread adoption and impact may be gradual.

As an investor, it’s natural not to be an expert on these subjects, so here are a few things to keep in mind while vetting potential investment opportunities:

• Management team. It’s always important to look into a company’s leadership, but in health care, this is especially true. It’s a unique industry, with its own regulations, clinical trials and research, relationships, industry partners, etc. This knowledge can only be learned after having a couple of years (or even decades) of experience.

• Compliance. FDA approval, HIPAA compliance and adherence to industry standards are key. As these products directly impact people’s lives, compliance takes time and resources.

• Clinical trials. These will give you a sense of the company’s potential and how long before its solution is market-ready.

• Capital. Who else is backing the company? This sector requires large investment, so partners who are willing and able to fuel the company’s operations until it reaches profitability are very important.

• Question everything. Don’t forget the Theranos case; asking hard questions to founders is part of the process. Make sure you are aware of the company’s reality. Future potential can sometimes blind us to what’s in front of us.

There have always been a lot of scientific studies and breakthroughs happening worldwide in research labs and universities, but the speed at which healthcare is evolving today is unprecedented. Nonetheless, this makes it even more challenging to know which science or technology (or a combination of both) will emerge as the leader.

One thing is certain: We are paving the way for a healthier tomorrow and will witness humans thriving more than ever with the use cases developed with these technological advancements.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.


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