Bill Gates has known investments in the gene-editing industry.
Genetic Engineering is the field of science that manipulates DNA in order to change the gene expression. This technology is revolutionary as gene-editing and gene therapy could help people suffering from genetic disorders, as well as making humans more healthy. Applications include alleviating autoimmune disease, treatment of neurodegenerative disease, and other genetic disorders.
The field is expanding quickly, with more and more companies investing heavily into genetic engineering, especially the CRISPR/Cas9 System. CRISPR technology is considered the foremost precision gene editing tool.
Here are the top companies in the field:
Agilent Technologies (A-N)
This company is a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard, which broke away in 1999. At the time, their IPO was the largest in history in Silicon Valley. They announced on June 18, 2019 the opening of a production facility in Colorado to produce nucleic acid-based therapeutics.
He likes this for their US dividend fund. They will benefit from the urgency to build labs to find a vaccine for COVID-19. An interesting market to be involved in. The space is very oligopolistic and the the company owns a 20% marketshare. Its balance sheet is under-levered he feels and a large amount of…
Biogen IDEC Inc. (BIIB-Q)
A biotechnology company that focuses on treatments for neurodegenerative, and autoimmune diseases. They recently experienced a sell-off following news that they shut down a previously promising drug for Alzheimer’s. They acquired Nightstar Therapeutics this year, who focus on adeno-associated virus based gene-therapies.
https://www.pmlive.com/pharma_news/fda_sets_november_date_for_expert_panel_review_of_biogens_aducanumab_1351831 Until February 2020, Biogen's FDA results of an Alzheimer drug was the healthcare event of the year (then Covid hit). Novartis and other players are starting to compete here, though. He owned Biogen some years ago. He was on a panel which was split over whether Biogen would get FDA approval on Nov. 6.…
Charles River Labs Intl (CRL-N)
A preclinical and clinical laboratory company for pharmaceutical and biotech firms. They are also a contractor that offers research and development outsourcing services. They offer a genetically engineered animal models and services, as well as CRISPR/Cas9 System research.
(A Top Pick May 30/19, Up 44%) A contract research organization who partners with major pharma companies for drug testing and clinical testing. This is the second company in this space that has done well for them. He would stick with it.
Novartis AG (NVS-N)
One of the largest pharmaceutical companies based out of Switzerland. They are working on a drug called Kymriah that has the ability to reprogram a patient’s own immune cells.
He sold it recently. They sold their eye-care division and are back to generic drugs, a lousy business for all companies. Invest elsewhere.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN-Q)
A biotechnology company that has multiple key drugs, including Eylea for macular degeneration. They have one of the largest human DNA sequencing project that will help with drug discovery and development.
(A Top Pick Jul 17/19, Up 95%) They've developed an antibody for Covid. Great company that he's been adding to. Fine valuation. They have a fine franchise in a severe atopic dermatitis drug. They're also developing an asthma drug that looks promising.
A french pharmaceutical company out of Paris that is the fifth largest in sales. They recently announced an over one billion dollar research deal with Denali Therapeutics for treatments for neurological and systemic inflammatory diseases.
It is not economically sensitive even though the stock is getting hit. It is one of the biggest vaccine manufacturers in the world. They are working on a CoVid19 vaccine and they own an arthritis drug that could be a possible drug for treatment of CoVid19. (Analysts’ price target is $56.93)
Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO-N)
A biotechnology and pharmaceutical lab equipment company. They are paying down debt and have made some acquisitions that will grow well over the next couple of years.
(A Top Pick Aug 20/19, Up 56%) Great long-term grower. Serves many different industries. Tailwind with Covid and testing equipment. Fantastically well run. Have to close your eyes and just buy it. Could buy half now, more later. Don't have to worry about it fundamentally longer term.
United Therapeutics Corp. (UTHR-Q)
An American biotechnology company. Their primary drug therapy is for pulmonary disease. They acquired SteadyMed Therapeutics, a competitor with whom they were locked in a legal dispute with, last year.
United Therapeutic (UTHR-Q) or Allergan (AGN-N)? This is a tough one because they are 2 very different companies. Allergan is a much larger company and more broadly-based, however, this one is a very fine company. Its primary drug therapy is dealing with pulmonary disease. The risk of owning this is that one drug represents a…
Illumina Inc. (ILMN-Q)
One of the only companies that can do high volume DNA sequencing. They have brought down the cost of genetic sequencing to retail levels. They are becoming more available outside of research for commercial use in clinics.
(A Top Pick Sep 12/19, Up 6%) The sector is interesting, though he sold Illumina, because the holding got too big. They supply testing machines for mines, which creates recurring revenues. Stick with it.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD-Q)
An American biopharmaceutical company that is doing research on treating cancer using DNA targets to control it. They also released great results for a HIV treatment.
Very disappointing. They had their hepatitis C franchise that generated high cash flow, but they poorly invested this cash. They also lead in They have remdesivir, the first Covid treatment. So, he held onto Gilead over the summer, but remdesivir didn't turn out to be the big cure. Their M&A hasn't been productive, either. They…
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY-N)
They got hit due to problems with the Celegene acquisition. Some shareholders like it, others don’t. They have an innovative pipeline and their drugs using genetic technology has performed well, as well as the biotech that will come under their wing from Celegene.
He liked their Celgene acquisition last year (though the market didn't), because it diversified their exposure to other drugs which have exectued well. Their R&D and core business are doing well. The stock trades at only 8x earnings. There is a disconnect between company performance and the market. It's very cheap and they execute well.…
Roche Holding (RHHBY-OTC)
A Swiss multinational healthcare company. They acquired a biotech firm that does research and development for all their future products. They have some promising drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer treatment.
(A Top Pick October 31/17 Up 10%) A steady business that pays a good dividend. You should make 10% a year return. There is a good pipeline of drug projects yet to come. Yield 3.5%
CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP-Q)
One of the smaller companies developing transformative gene medications. Their gene-editing tool is used to splice DNA that has the potential of curing diseases such as Huntington’s Chorea and cancer.
A small company that develops transformative gene medications. They are a small fish in a big sea. A recent transaction with a pharma company allows them to scale out their product, but it is still early. (Analysts’ price target is $58.05)