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Genomics Innovation: A Catalyst For Growth by ARK Invest

The Blue Water Team

The field of genomics is making enormous progress that has the potential to transform medicine, cure diseases, and contribute trillions of dollars to the market over the next few years. This article from ARK Investments explores what they dub the "genomics age" and its potential impact on the future of medicine and markets. 

ARK's article identifies specific technologies that are making it easier and less expensive than ever before to understand, decode, and utilize DNA. 

One of the oldest of these technologies is DNA sequencing. While the human genome was first mapped in 2003, to the tune of $2.7 billion, what makes DNA sequencing so integral to the current genomic age is the radical drop in costs associated with the process. Now, it costs about $600 to sequence a genome. Over the next 5 years, that cost could drop below $100. These affordable costs make it much more feasible to use next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) to target many different diseases, especially cancer. 

NGS could lead to the diagnosis of cancer in Stage 1 or 2 rather than Stage 3 or 4, allow for a detailed understanding of tumors, lead to precise targeting of cancers, and allow for close monitoring of patients in remission in order to catch relapses sooner. With the application of NGS, ARK estimates that the mortality rate of cancer could drop by 25 percent. 

Another technology aiding the advance of genomics is CRISPR gene-editing. Genome editing was first attempted in the 1980s, but with the discovery of CRISPR technology in 2012, the field has achieved sufficiently low cost and ease of use to have numerous applications. As a result, CRISPR gene editing could enjoy market growth, according to ARK, of $75 billion a year. 

Genomics is also giving birth to what are called living drugs. These are therapies that use living organisms, and the body's own processes, to fight disease. They are emerging most commonly in the cancer space, where they allow for targeted treatment of specific cancers. However, many living drugs are currently in development, with the potential to fight or even cure many types of diseases, at a lower cost than more traditional therapies. The market for living drugs, according to ARK, could exceed $200 billion a year. 

Finally, bioinformatics is poised to grow as the world of genomics earns a greater foothold in the field of medicine. Being able to track patient information, responses to treatments, R&D and more, is invaluable at a time when of such rapid advancement. According to ARK, spending on bioinformatics could be around $200 billion by 2024. 

Thanks to all of these advances, genomics is poised to have a huge impact on equity markets. By 2024, ARK estimates that genomics could lead to trillions of dollars worth of capitalization in the equity market, in addition to improving the drug development process, curing disease, and saving lives.

Genomics is one of many thematic investment trends we can incorporate into your portfolio's design.