Due to drug pricing controversies, there has been much concern about how the outcome of the upcoming election will affect pharmaceutical stocks. Dr. Len Yaffe of Stoc*Doc Partners sheds light on the issues in this analysis of drug price negotiation policy, and focuses in on one California ballot proposition that aims to rein in costs.
The Life Sciences Report: Your experience is very broad. Just four or five years ago, you were a big pharma analyst at a major investment bank, where you followed the largest drug makers in the world. From your perspective today, as an analyst following small-cap biotech and medtech, can you talk about the clinical assets that drive value in smaller companies?
Ed Arce: From a market perspective, the key value drivers largely remain the same. First, and by far most important, are the clinical data. The stronger the efficacy, the better. But meeting clinical endpoints needs to translate into a clinically meaningful benefit. An outright therapeutic cure is optimal, but is also quite rare. Also, the overall safety and tolerability profile of any new therapeutic must be commensurate with the severity of the disease, and comparable to the risk profiles of any existing pharmacotherapies. Risk/benefit is obviously a trade-off. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in attempting to balance the risk/benefit equation, has leaned a bit in one direction or the other over the years.
The second point, from a market perspective, is the size of the patient population and the degree to which that population has been, or is, treatment nave.
The Life Sciences Report: At Casey Research's "Navigating the Politicized Economy" summit, you talked about the difference between the speed of science and the speed of technology, and how quickly the time to market and cost of products in the life sciences space is decreasing. Can you provide some examples?
Alex Daley: Many technologies, like the touch-screen tablets and smartphones that now dominate the market, seem to come out of nowhere, perpetuating the myth of technology as almost magical. But you only have to look as far as the as-yet-unfulfilled promises of recent years to see the slow development curve that leads to explosive growth. This has been most noticeable in the advent of genetic medicine.
We all remember the sequencing of the human genome as a scientific milestone. Announced in 2000, just at the turn of the millennium, it was followed by much media fanfare about the dawn of genetic medicine. Every untreatable disease was going to be cured. Every person was going to receive medicine tailored to his or her unique makeup. Continue reading "Casey Analyst Forecasts Explosive Biotech Growth"→