The global healthcare industry has been, rightfully, consumed with news regarding COVID-19. The first known case of COVID-19 first emerged between October and November 2019 in China. By January 2020 it had spread globally.

Since then, more than 6.3 million people have died of COVID-19.1 The number would have been significantly higher had it not been for the speed in which healthcare companies responded to the pandemic. Using artificial intelligence and other technologies, major healthcare providers like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson were able to develop vaccines in less than a year.

As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, it is faced with yet another virus: monkeypox. It is not a new disease; the first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa.2 Historically, monkeypox has been contained to Central and West Africa.

For the fist time ever, the world is grappling with an international outbreak of monkeypox. In May 2022, the disease was first detected in the United Kingdom. Since then, more than 1,180 cases have been detected across the globe, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United States.3

Source: Getty Images

Most cases have been detected in the U.K. (322) and Portugal (166). In North America, 101 cases have been detected in Canada and 35 in the U.S. Many cases have been reported by those who have no history of travel to endemic countries.4

While monkeypox is a rare disease, it is closely related to smallpox. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that existing smallpox vaccine is “at least 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.” Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new vaccine, Jynneos, for both smallpox and monkeypox in 2019.5

Not only is the healthcare industry making strides to protect people against monkeypox, but there has also been promising research in other medical fields.

GSK, Studying a Cure for a Type of Cancer

GSK plc was part of a small experimental study in which its cancer drug, Jemperli, was 100% effective against rectal cancer. The study results, which were carried out by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, are unprecedented. As a result, the participants did not have to undergo radiation, chemotherapy, or any type of surgery.

The data was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.6 Dr. Luis A. Diaz, Jr. M.D., author of the paper, said “I believe this is the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.”7

Source: Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Pfizer, Looking at More Mergers and Acquisitions

Pfizer Inc. announced that it is acquiring Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holdings Co for around $11.6 billion. It is expected that the company will fund part of the deal with the cash it made from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, Paxlovid.8

Through the acquisition, Pfizer will gain Biohaven’s migraine drug Nurtec, a drug that analysts say could generate billions of dollars in annual sales. Pfizer has said it is looking at possible mergers and acquisition to add $25 billion in additional revenue by 2030 to offset sales lost due to lost patents.9

Source: Biohaven and Pfizer logos

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Leading Healthcare Company

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. offers life sciences solutions, analytical instruments, specialty diagnostics, and laboratory products and service worldwide. The company’s segments include Life Sciences Solutions, Analytical Instruments, Specialty Diagnostics, and Laboratory Products and Biopharma Services.10

With annual revenue of approximately $40 billion, its biggest end market is Pharma & Biotech (45%), followed by Diagnostics & Healthcare (28%), Academic & Government (14%), and Industrial & Supplied (13%).

Its industry-leading brands include Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon, and PPD.

Source: Manufacturingchemist.com

LIFE ETF: Investing in the Healthcare Industry

The Evolve Global Healthcare Enhanced Yield Fund (LIFE ETF) provides investors with exposure to twenty global blue-chip healthcare companies with a covered call strategy that is actively managed to provide increased yield potential while helping mitigate risk. The LIFE ETF is available in hedged, unhedged and USD classes.

Managed by an established team of industry veterans with a proven track record of success, Evolve ETFs creates investment products that make a difference. For more information, please visit www.evolveetfs.com or download our one-pager about LIFE ETF.

For the latest information on investing in healthcare and updates on related investment products, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Sources:

  1. “COVID-19 Coronavirus/Death Toll,” worldometer.com, last accessed June 8, 2022; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/.
  2. “About Monkeypox,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed June 8, 2022; https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/about.html#.
  3. “Monkeypox,” Our World in Data, last accessed June 8, 2022; https://ourworldindata.org/monkeypox.
  4. “Epidemiological update: Monkeypox outbreak,” European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, May 20, 2022; https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/epidemiological-update-monkeypox-outbreak.
  5. “BLA Approval,” U.S. Food & Drug Administration, September 24, 2019; https://www.fda.gov/media/131079/download.
  6. “PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair–Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer,” The New England Journal of Medicine, June 5, 2022; https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2201445.
  7. Kolata, G. “A Cancer Trial’s Unexpected Result: Remission in Every Patient,” The New York Times, June 5, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/05/health/rectal-cancer-checkpoint-inhibitor.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nythealth.
  8. “Pfizer to Acquire Biohaven Pharmaceuticals,” Pfizer Inc., May 10, 2022; https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-acquire-biohaven-pharmaceuticals.
  9. Hopkins, J. “Pfizer to Buy Rest of Biohaven for $11.6 Billion,” The Wall Street Journal,” may 10, 2022; https://www.wsj.com/articles/pfizer-to-buy-rest-of-biohaven-for-11-6-billion-11652181121.
  10. “Thermo Fisher Scientific Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results,” Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., February 2, 2022; https://corporate.thermofisher.com/content/tfcorpsite/us/en/index/newsroom/press-releases/2022/Feb/02-Thermo-Fisher-Scientific-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2021-Results.html.

 

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