Today, the global economy is embarking on one of the largest technological transformations in history: Genomics Innovation. For the past 2 decades or so, everyone has been talking about disruptive innovation and how its basic tenets can drive growth for organisations cross-markets and cross-sectors.
In our view, disruptive innovation should upturn efficiencies, surpass industry incumbents and secure majority market share; something which has been seen in the medical arena over the last couple of years. The latter has passed key inflection points in its ability to access, manipulate, and understand the molecular building blocks of the human body – significantly catalysed by genomics innovation.
But, what exactly is genomics innovation?
In 2003, the Human Genome Project marked genomics as the foundation of personalised medicine, enabling treatments based on genetic mutations unique to each individual. Amidst transforming the medical field, advancing human health and yielding trillions of dollars for investors, the resulting DNA vaccines have recorded multi-fold benefits compared to traditional vaccines:
Genomics and Cancer
Long years of laboratory research and clinical trials have found that cancer can be treated when diagnosed early. All solid tumors start as neoplasia that advance from local, to regional, and finally to distant or metastatic cancer. As cancer progresses, the number of treatment options shrinks. Unfortunately for many patients, symptoms don’t present until their cancers have spread.
Non-invasive, modern liquid biopsies, powered by next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technology, can currently detect numerous cancers. They target a narrow range of mutations associated with cancer and search thousands of DNA fragments circulating in the bloodstream to identify tumor-derived DNA fragments (ctDNA).
In the future, multi-cancer liquid biopsy screening could reduce the death rate by shifting average diagnoses from distant towards localised cancers.
Genomics and COVID-19
When pneumonia patients in Wuhan, China, did not respond to the treatment, Chinese researchers sequenced genetic material from lung fluid samples and identified SARS-CoV-2 for the first time. Initial and subsequent sequencing work enabled the prompt development of COVID-19 tests.
Gene-based treatments and vaccines derived from sequencing could represent our most immediate hopes of treating those afflicted and thwarting both current and future pandemics.
Genomics innovation enabled fast action in understanding the mechanisms that cause the disease, and while still being in its early stages, it could prove to be instrumental in treating symptoms and curing infections.
Do YOU want to join the Genomics bandwagon?
Globally, investors, governments and companies are leaving no stone unturned in leveraging the opportunities being birthed from the Genomic era: Thailand’s Government has created a new economic zone in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as a platform for genomic technology investments. On the other hand, UK has offered its genomics expertise to countries globally in a bid to identify and assess new COVID-19 variants with the aim to boost global capacity to tackle the urging situation.
Genomics is steadily shaping a healthy future for us as well as for our generations to come. If you are an investor looking for long-term exposure to this sector’s forthcoming disruption, we recommend Exchange Traded Funds. One example is the Global X Genomics & Biotechnology ETF (GNOM) which has gained 62% over the last year compared to 14% for the S&P 500:
Please contact our Private Banking & Wealth Management Team: