Four biotech firms betting big on gene therapy

The gene therapy market is projected to expand at over 33% annually, from US$584 million in 2016 to nearly US$4.5 billion by 2023

Vikram Barhat 9 January, 2019 | 6:00PM

Gene therapy is a fast-growing constituent of the healthcare market. In simple terms, it is a technique that cures or prevents difficult to treat inheritable diseases by repairing or replacing the problematic part of a human gene. Over time, gene therapy could allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using drugs or surgery, according to a report by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Leading companies in the gene therapy space are scrambling to develop treatments through in-house innovation or through acquisitions or partnerships with companies that specialize in the area of gene therapy. The race, industry watchers say, has only just begun as the market is projected to expand from US$584 million in 2016 to nearly US$4.5 billion by 2023, a staggering 33.3% annual growth.

Approvals for various gene-altering therapies from drug regulators in Europe and the U.S., have prompted these companies to ramp up research and clinical trials, to roll out cures for cancer, hemophilia, muscular degeneration, and other debilitating medical conditions. These companies are well positioned to benefit from the growing momentum in the application of genomics in healthcare. A promising pipeline of existing and upcoming products and potential breakthroughs could create a strong tailwind of growth and profitability for these companies.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc101.50 USD0.36
Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc97.51 USD2.80
Novartis AG ADR84.91 USD-0.09
Pfizer Inc37.50 USD0.64

About Author

Vikram Barhat

Vikram Barhat  Vikram Barhat is a Toronto-based financial writer specializing in investing, stock markets, personal finance and other areas of the financial services industry. He also writes for CNBC, BBC, The Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star.