Investing in the Future of Healthcare, Biotech, and Pharma

The Lepage Center’s Strategic Advisers program connects Tulane students and recent graduates with New Orleans area entrepreneurs and small business owners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisers are working for the businesses full-time for 10 weeks during the summer of 2020, providing immediate services based on each business’s specific needs.

The strategic advisers meet weekly via video conference to discuss what’s going on at their companies and to learn from one another. Last week we discussed the future of the healthcare, biotech, and pharma industries. Advisers were asked to imagine they were investors or entrepreneurs in the space and to describe the type of companies they would invest in or found. Below are some of their thoughts:

“If I were to invest in this industry, I would focus on companies that have proven adaptable in the face of this pandemic. The company Teledoc, which offers virtual appointments with physicians, has strategically leveraged their platform as a virtual healthcare provider and have seen increases in popularity due to covid.”

“Companies that successfully demonstrate they have the knowledge and wherewithal to implement AI in their research and development processes may be more promising than ones who rely on traditional methods of conducting healthcare. Intrinsic to the name of the field biotechnology, these firms are likely to rely on and utilize technology in value-additive ways.”

“If I were to invest in a biotech or healthcare company today it would be in the gene theory area. I think there is much to be learned with what can be created with gene splicing. Crisper Tech is a technology that has revolutionized gene therapy. They have constantly improved their position as the main brand of gene splicing and continue to grow through the pandemic. They have great potential to be the lead in their category while still breaking barriers in gene splicing.”

“If I were going into pharma I would look to invest in the companies that make generic forms of commonly used pharmaceuticals. This is another way that healthcare/pharma costs can be driven down. The United States currently pays more for these drugs than almost any other country in the world even though in many cases our government is footing the research and development bill. By having greater access to generic drugs, more people will have the ability to afford these lifesaving medications.”

“People are living significantly longer than ever before which is going to lead to an older population with an insufficient level of health providers to care for them. Deficits such as these provide immense opportunity for growth and ultimately profit.”

“I would invest in healthcare/biotech/pharma companies that are rooted in mental health, specifically mental health applications and mental health services via telehealth… With the ability to “clear your mind,” speak with a professional, or freely express yourself all from a device, mental health applications and telehealth mental services have played a huge role in aiding individuals as they navigate these traumatic, anxiety-provoking, and uncertain times.”

“Telehealth will be important during these times so that doctors are able to monitor their patients outside of their office or a hospital. Medicare telehealth regulations have been loosening which will ultimately reduce healthcare costs, especially since the aging population prefers to stay at home or in their community. Remote patient monitoring devices such as voice assistants and smart mattresses would be smart investments.”