The cancer treatment/immuno-oncology market is expansive and ripe with potential for long-term healthcare investors. Predictably, there are significant implications for biotechnology and genomics companies.
That highlights long-term opportunity with exchange traded funds such as the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG). In fact, ARKG could, over time, prove to be highly relevant in this conversation because cancer treatment is rapidly evolving. As an actively managed fund, ARKG has the flexibility needed to keep up with the breakneck pace of genomics advancements and cancer treatments.
An example of opportunity-rich segment ARKG could address in the future smart chemotherapy, or the use of antibodies to target cancer cells, deploying chemotherapy directly to those cells. The science behind this treatment, which is less physically punitive than traditional chemo, is known as antibody drug conjugate, an ADC.
“We’re now at a major inflection point with 87 new ADC drugs entering development in the past two years alone. We believe smart chemotherapy could open up a $140 billion market over the next 15 years or so, up from a $5 billion sales base in 2022. This would make ADCs one of the biggest growth areas across Global Biopharma, led by colorectal, lung and breast cancer,” noted Mark Purcell, head of Morgan Stanley’s European pharmaceuticals team.
Smart chemo is already being deployed to treat patients with breast and bladder cancer. However, clinicians are starting to shift this line of treatment to earlier treatment offerings, and using it concert with other therapies. Those points could benefit some ARKG member firms.
As Purcell notes, the first ADC drugs are just over two decades old, meaning that in healthcare terms, the concept is by no means old. That also implies there are vast, untapped markets, including treatment of solid tumors, with compelling investment implications.
“A year from now, we expect ADC drugs to deliver major advances in the treatment of lung cancer and bladder cancer, as well as really important proof of concept data for colorectal cancer, which is arguably one of the biggest unmet needs out there,” added Purcell.
Additionally, ARKG’s potential intersection with ADCs and smart chemo adds an element of “doing right” while investing. Among the reasons why smart chemo could eventually top its traditional predecessor is that smart chemo is less physically draining, and it can improve patient outcomes. Those are attractive reasons for companies and clinicians to invest in this form of treatment.
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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.