Scientific Advancement Fuels Life Sciences
- November 28, 2022
Biotechnology is rapidly evolving how diseases are diagnosed and drugs are discovered.
The recent market turmoil has taken a heavy toll on both valuations and access to capital in the life sciences industry. In the face of this tremendous headwind, the pace of scientific advancement continues at an unprecedented rate. One needs to look no further than the speed by which COVID vaccines, including the novel mRNA technology, were brought to market and responsible for saving countless lives. The advances in vaccine technology developed over the past few years promises to have widespread repercussions far beyond the prevention of infections potentially providing new treatment options to patients suffering from metabolic diseases and many forms of cancer as well. But the vaccine space does not have a monopoly on progress and there have been several new or next-generation approaches in the life sciences space that are rapidly making a positive impact on human health.
The blurring of the lines between technology and biotechnology is leading to an evolution of how diseases are diagnosed and drugs are discovered as AI finally seems ready for prime time for use in the exceptionally complicated world of biological systems. Significant improvements in computing power and algorithm design along with their growing accessibility are enabling companies to speed up and broaden the drug discovery process, improve the odds of positive outcomes in clinical trials and even replace invasive diagnostic procedures with safer, faster and cheaper noninvasive alternatives. Once the domain of science fiction, the current generation of RNA and gene therapies are seeing increasing clinical success in treating both rare and difficult to treat diseases. In addition, there has been substantial progress made in CAR T therapy in which specially manufactured T cells selectively target cancer cells and kill them leading to some outstanding results in treating lymphomas. Technological advances in both the delivery and production of all these therapies have advanced as well allowing them to treat larger populations than would have been possible in the past.
The Oppenheimer healthcare banking team sponsored a number of bespoke events bringing together investors, companies and key medical field opinion leaders to highlight recent advancements in the life sciences field. Most recently we held an innovation day at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and sponsored a session at the 37th annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). As always, the team remains focused on providing actionable advice to our clients to help them navigate the current turbulent markets so they can continue working diligently to improve patient care.
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