Don’t just take our word for it. Posted in: Featured - At Chevy Chase Trust, we specialize in global research and thematic investing informed by careful planning, and it's working. Forbes and RIA Channel recently ranked us among the highest in their Top 100 list, for 2 years running. Important Disclosures
Investment Update, Second Quarter 2019 Posted in: Investment Update, Latest News - Some have called this the most hated bull market in history. The S&P 500 Index finished the first half of 2019 at 2,942, only slightly lower than its all-time closing high of 2,954 reached on June, 20, 2019. S&P 500 six-month return, inclusive of dividends, is an impressive 18.5%, the best first half since 1996. Further, the economic expansion that began in July of 2009 turns ten this month making it the longest on record.
- Q & A with Elizabeth Kearns Posted in: Noteworthy, People - We recently sat down with Elizabeth Kearns, Vice President, to learn more about her background and who and what inspired her career in finance.
We recently sat down with Elizabeth Kearns, Vice President, to learn more about her background and who and what inspired her career in finance.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your background?
A: I grew up in Chevy Chase as one of four children, and went to high school here. I then attended college at Notre Dame and, after graduation, I moved to France for four years where I taught English to French students of varying ages – from high school students to business professionals. After four years, I moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University School of Law. After graduation I was lucky enough to join Furey Doolan & Abell’s estate planning and probate practice, where I practiced for seven years until moving to Chevy Chase Trust.
Q: What led you from teaching English in France to a career in estate planning?
A: Law school was something I had always planned on, but I did not want to go right away. Both of my parents are lawyers, so it’s something I grew up considering.
I enjoyed living in France and after four years of teaching, decided I was ready to go to law school. In terms of estate planning, it was a stroke of luck. After my second year of law school, I was a summer associate at Furey Doolan & Abell, which has an excellent estates and trusts practice. I had thought I would pursue litigation, but it turned out I loved estate planning. It’s very personal and allows me to help people directly with private matters.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?
A: I’d say the problem-solving aspect of it. Estate planning is like a puzzle; you not only have to follow the law but you also have to find a way to accomplish your client’s goals. Certain strategies I may be inclined to recommend might not match a client’s lifestyle, so it’s a bit of a puzzle putting together the right pieces to get a client where they want to be.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned?
A: I would say to listen and ask questions. I think that applies to every type of job. You can’t learn and grow in your career without listening to others. In estate planning, particularly, you have to listen to the client and to be willing to ask questions – not only of the client but of your colleagues for ideas and advice.
Q: What would you be doing if this were not your career?
A: I would probably be a French teacher. I really enjoyed my years teaching and helping students learn to communicate in an entirely new language. And I just love the French language.
Q: What do you like to do outside of the office?
A: I spend my free time with my husband, son, and dog. My son is two so he’s at that really fun age where he’s learning to talk and express himself. We spend our weekends going to the park, the zoo, the pool, or other places he might enjoy. We’re also preparing for the arrival a baby girl in a few months.
Q: What is your favorite place to visit?
A: France. It’s kind of like a second home to me. Paris is one of my favorite cities to visit, but the other regions of France are so beautiful as well.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career path similar to yours?
A: First, make sure you want to be a lawyer before you go to law school. Law school is a huge commitment Second, I’d say, try your hand at a couple of different things. I was so set on being a litigator that I had no idea what else was out there. I feel lucky to have found estate planning because it is what I love. In terms of leaving private practice for the financial world, I’d suggest talking to people who have made the move already. Find out what they like about it and what they miss, and see if that corresponds with your own goals. I have found that my move to Chevy Chase Trust has allowed me to pursue the aspects of estate planning I love the most, while leaving behind some of the realities of private practice that were less glamorous.
- Food for Thought: Personalized Medicine Posted in: Latest News, Noteworthy, Video - Andrew Marshall, Equity Portfolio Manager and Macroeconomic Research Analyst, discusses our current thinking about one of our global themes.
Andrew Marshall, Equity Portfolio Manager and Macroeconomic Research Analyst, discusses our current thinking about one of our global themes.
- Safe-Haven Assets Needed. They Don’t Even Need to Be That Safe Posted in: Featured, Latest News, Noteworthy, People - Corporate debt, collateralized securities and even stocks may not sound like the sort of assets money managers would seek out for their haven qualities. Yet a slide in global bond yields is forcing investors to look outside of the usual.
(Bloomberg) — Corporate debt, collateralized securities and even stocks may not sound like the sort of assets money managers would seek out for their haven qualities. Yet a slide in global bond yields is forcing investors to look outside of the usual refuges as they hunt for stable assets that provide at least a modicum of return. Gene Tannuzzo, who oversees the $4.8 billion Columbia Strategic Income Fund, says he’s adding investment-grade corporate bonds from Europe for the extra yield. Sarah Lange, a senior fixed-income portfolio manager at Pentegra, is “begrudgingly” seeking out asset-backed debt. Craig Pernick, the head of fixed income for Chevy Chase Trust Co., was even tempted recently by a non-convertible dollar bond from China’s Weibo Corp.
“Everybody has their own definition of safe haven, and it seems people are loosening that definition in search of yield,” said Pernick, whose firm manages $30 billion in assets. The challenge these days is “not falling into the trap of changing strategy too much.”
To read the full article, click here.
- Amy Raskin featured on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report – May 8, 2019 Posted in: Latest News, Noteworthy, Video - Amy Raskin, Chief Investment Officer, appeared on CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report on May 8, 2019, to discuss current market conditions and what they mean for investors.
Amy Raskin, Chief Investment Officer, appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report on May 8, 2019, to discuss current market conditions and what they mean for investors.
- Fast Fashion and the Future of Retailing Posted in: Insights, Noteworthy, Whitepapers - Thematic investing involves capitalizing on secular trends, disruptive innovations and economic forces that are reshaping the world. Of particular interest are investments that are at the intersection of multiple themes.
Thematic investing involves capitalizing on secular trends, disruptive innovations and economic forces that are reshaping the world. Of particular interest are investments that are at the intersection of multiple themes. Two of our more expansive themes are next-generation technologies and the urbanization of wealth. Both have lead us to study changes in consumer spending, retailing and the retail supply chain (see “Finding Opportunity in Disruptive Change: Retailing and its Supply Chain”). We observed:
“Next generation automation is allowing consumer goods companies to speed time to market. Apparel companies today typically place orders as much as a year in advance – which doesn’t align well with constant demand for current fashion and customizable options. Nike says that the inability to react quickly to demand signals can result in hundreds of millions of dollars of lost profits. Today, most footwear and clothing are produced in Asia by a multitude of contractors and subcontractors. A shirt might be stitched in one factory from cloth woven, dyed and cut in three separate factories owned by three different companies, with time between each step of production. This system evolved to cut labor costs, which in Asia can be as little as one-tenth the labor cost in the U.S. Automation makes it possible to locate production closer to the end consumer. While labor costs in developed markets are higher, the cost is more than offset by reduced transportation costs, faster time to market and the need for fewer workers.”
Advances in retail automation and the buying preferences of wealthy consumers concentrated in and around urban areas have contributed to “fast-fashion”. Fast fashion describes clothing designs that move quickly from catwalks and celebrities to retail stores, allowing mainstream consumers to purchase trendy clothing at affordable prices.
Fast fashion is a boon for retailers because constant introduction of new items encourages more frequent store visits which result in more purchases. The speed of fast fashion helps retailers avoid markdowns and preserve margins. Instead of replenishing stock, companies replace sold out items with new items. As a result, shoppers tend to purchase an item when they see it, with scant regard to price, knowing it won’t be available for long.
Fast fashion retailing, made possible by innovations in supply chain management, is challenging traditional fashion line retailers who typically introduce new items on a seasonal basis.
Our research in this area lead us to Inditex, a world leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of apparel. We believe this Spanish retailer has achieved a competitive advantage in the global fashion industry through its investments in technology and integration of its supply chain. Inditex is the largest fashion group in the world with eight brands and 7,490 stores in 202 markets. It’s largest, first and best known brand, Zara, was established in 1975.
- Ninety-five percent of Inditex items are produced in regional clusters of suppliers and manufacturers. Inditex owns 12 factories and within the regional clusters, Inditex obtains preferential treatment from non-owned factories given its scale and leverage.
- An essential element of the supply chain is a distribution center known as “The Cube.” The Cube is a vast warehouse in Spain connected to various manufacturing sites by a 124 mile network of high-speed monorails.
- Zara has several set garment designs which are recycled allowing for faster design times, cost efficient production and tight quality controls.
- A typical retailer has committed to and manufactured up to 80% of a seasonal line before the start of a season, while Zara has committed to only 50-60% of a line.
- Zara can take a design from runway to a store in the U.S. in 25 days. Other retailers take up to six months.
- Items arrive at stores ironed, on hangers, tagged with RFID chips, labeled and priced. Inditex was an early adopter of RFID for inventory tracking. All Zara items were tagged beginning in 2015 and, almost all items of Inditex’s other brands were RFID tagged by the end of 2018.
- Each Zara store receives two deliveries per week on the same day at the same time. Customers know when to visit stores based upon the delivery schedule. Items can be delivered to customers and stores in Europe within 36 hours of an order being placed and to the rest of the world within 48 hours.
- The average “high street” Spanish retailer expects a customer to visit three times a year. Zara expects the average customer to visit 17 times a year.
- A typical retailer sells 60-70% of its items at full price with unsold items accounting for 17-20% of inventory. In contrast, 85% of Zara items sell at full price with unsold items accounting for only 10% of inventory.
- In a unique inventory management system, Zara retail stores serve as alternative fulfillment centers for online orders when warehouses are out of a particular item, or if it provides more timely and cost-efficient fulfillment. In fact, Zara is now delivering more online orders from stores than warehouses.
In 2018, Inditex generated three times higher same-store sales growth, 20% higher inventory turnover and 30% higher gross margins than industry averages. We believe Inditex has created a globally integrated business model that is the future of retail.
- Q & A with Andrew Marshall Posted in: Noteworthy, People - We recently sat down with Andrew Marshall, Vice President, to learn more about his background and who and what inspired his career in finance.
We recently sat down with Andrew Marshall, Vice President, to learn more about his background and who and what inspired his career in finance.
Q: Tell us a little about your background.
A: When I was 14 years old, my family moved to South America. I spent my freshman and sophomore years at an English speaking high school in La Paz, Bolivia, eventually transferring to the Mercersburg Academy in PA. While I was there, I earned a scholarship to attend Dulwich College in London where I was the only American student. I went on to Franklin & Marshall College where I double-majored in English and Spanish. After graduating, I started my investment career at Wachovia.
Q: How did you go from studying English and Spanish to a job in investments? And what did you do next?
A: I was in the process of interviewing at the State Department – following the family business, so to speak-and decided to interview with Wachovia too. Once I started in the investment business, I found that I really enjoyed it. On the advice of a senior colleague, I signed up for the Chartered Financial Analyst program. I started out in Wachovia’s trust department and was later promoted to associate portfolio manager within the wealth management group.
Q: How did you become interested in investment management?
A: I initially fell in love with the fact that every single day is different. Even when the market doesn’t move substantially, there are always new developments and you need to be aware of what’s going on in the world around you. At Chevy Chase Trust, I get to work with interesting people (both colleagues and clients), research fascinating changes and opportunities taking place in the world around me, and assess the shifting global macroeconomic landscape.
Q: What is the one thing you enjoy most about this career?
A: I’m constantly learning and absorbing what’s going on around the globe. From developments within personalized medicine to the personal stories of all of my clients, there is always a new perspective and something that colors my understanding of the world around me. Trying to be the best forces me to learn and know a lot about a wide variety of things, so it never becomes stale.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering following a path like yours?
A: There is no silver bullet or magic solution that will guarantee success. There are certainly ingredients to success but these are often as mundane as working hard, showing up and learning from mistakes. It’s an iterative process where there are no short cuts. No one likes to fail but understanding and learning from it is very valuable.
Q: What would you advise someone considering a career path like the one you have taken?
A: The advice I would give is that is important to understand all the different elements of the financial services industry. Spend some time, understand the different aspects of banking, investment banking, sales, and research, and decide the right fit for your personality. And its important to find a mentor… I was lucky to have wonderful mentors from the start when I was a sales assistant on a trading desk working with two senior brokers. They took the time to teach me the business.
Q: What career path would you pursue if not this?
A: I’m very excited about and interested in machine learning. It’s closely related to our automation investment theme but has an almost ubiquitous application. Over the past two years, I taught myself how to program and built my own deep learning computer from scratch. I have also competed in a few online deep learning competitions. I wrote an algorithm that identified pictures of plant seedlings that scored very highly. So, if I wasn’t at Chevy Chase Trust, I’d probably move to San Francisco and try to start a career in that field.
Alternatively, I would open my crossfit gym. Health and wellness is very important to me and crossfit is a way for me to challenge my limits to stay in shape.
Q: What do you like to do outside of the office?
A: Outside of working with my computer and crossfit, I mostly spend my time reading. I try to read as much and as widely as I can. I also love to travel, eat good food, and take care of my dog, Ronald (named for Ronald Reagan).
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Very tough question! A favorite general economics-related book would be The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon. My favorite investment theme related books are A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna, about the advent of CRISPR gene editing, or the Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos about machine learning and automation.
- St. Maria’s Meal Program and Chevy Chase Trust Posted in: Community, Noteworthy - On May 1, 2019, ten volunteers from Chevy Chase Trust headed into downtown D.C. to help support Catholic Charities’ St. Maria’s Wednesday Night Meal Program. The St. Maria’s Meal Program aims to meet the needs of individuals and families by providing them with warm nutritious meals.
On May 1, 2019, ten volunteers from Chevy Chase Trust headed into downtown D.C. to help support Catholic Charities’ St. Maria’s Wednesday Night Meal Program. The St. Maria’s Meal Program aims to meet the needs of individuals and families by providing them with warm nutritious meals. Eight Chevy Chase Trust volunteers set up the buffet, greeted dinner guests, and served food while two others were part of St. Maria’s bike brigade, riding adult tricycles to deliver dinner to those unable to travel. Chevy Chase Trust staff volunteer quarterly at the Wednesday evening meal program.
- Investing in Disruptive Change: Personalized Medicine Posted in: Insights, Noteworthy, Whitepapers - As thematic investors, we look for phenomena that are transforming economic prospects across multiple industries. Then, we seek to identify companies that will benefit, are investable through public equities with ample liquidity, and are likely to pay off within three to five years.
As thematic investors, we look for phenomena that are transforming economic prospects across multiple industries. Then, we seek to identify companies that will benefit, are investable through public equities with ample liquidity, and are likely to pay off within three to five years. One of these phenomena is the emerging field of personalized medicine.
Many industries have long made personalization the gold standard of service and delivery. Medicine is entering the early stages of personalization. Most medical treatments still focus on the average symptom of the average ailment for the average patient. Unfortunately, average can be far less than average when it comes to healthcare. Breakthroughs in our understanding of the human genome have been occurring with accelerating frequency. While these breakthroughs have made personalized medicine a limited reality, a fuller reality is yet to be realized. As a result, personalized medicine today is a niche market. In our view, we are at an inflection point in the evolution of healthcare with the potential to disrupt current models of patient care, drug development, pricing and insurance.
The New Frontier: Putting Personalized Medicine in Perspective
To put this pending transformation in perspective, consider the discovery of germ theory in the 19th century. It found that many diseases are caused by specific microorganisms and led to the 20th century development of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections and vaccines to prevent viral infections. As a result, major infectious diseases such as polio, cholera, and bubonic plague were eradicated. In the 21st century, the new medical frontier is genomics. It offers the possibility of conquering genetic-based diseases.
One driver of rising health care costs is the rapidly increasing percentage of the population over age 65. The Center for Disease Control predicts that 25% of the population now 50 years old will live into their 90s. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of cancer cases will increase 70% over the next two decades as people live longer. Aging populations with their higher propensities for genetic-based diseases will result in an increasing number of people taking genetic tests. The tests will help medical professionals provide early warning and early diagnosis, optimizing treatment plans and fueling further growth in the genetic testing market.
An expanding market is possible because the cost of sequencing a human genome has rapidly declined. At the turn of the millennium, the Human Genome Project cost nearly $3 billion and took 13 years to sequence the first draft of the human genome. Since then, the cost of sequencing an entire genome has declined at a rate that far exceeds Moore’s law (the observation that the processor industry doubles computing power for the same price every two years), as shown below.
Source: National Institute of Health
Now at a cost of about $1,000, gene sequencing is comparable in price to many other routine medical tests. New innovations continue to drive costs down, with today’s fastest machines able to sequence a genetic sample in an hour at a cost of about $100. Lower costs will lead to new applications and more widespread use.
As important as cost reduction, speed improvements have made sequencing clinically useful—meaning tests can be completed before patient treatment decisions need to be made. Cheaper and faster sequencing has enabled large-scale studies, to the point where entire countries are investing in genomic studies of their populations. To date, 1.5 million human genomes have been sequenced. However, we still understand less than 1% of the variants of the human genome and have tested less than 0.02% of the human population. There are currently 50 large-scale population studies underway, each ranging from tens of thousands to millions of people. Understanding genetic makeup and genetic differences has barely scratched the surface.
Each human genome has roughly 3 billion base pairs of DNA and potentially as many genetic traits, so genetic analysis requires computing power and data storage comparable to other “big data” fields. For example, sequencers produced by Illumina, the market leader in sequencing equipment, have generated 225 petabytes of data over the past five years. That is equivalent to the amount of data in 765 years of continuous high definition video. GRAIL, a pioneer in early cancer detection, generates one terabyte of data (the equivalent of around 130,000 digital photos) from each liquid biopsy they perform. The improving capacity of processors and the development of statistical tools for analyzing large and unstructured sets of data are unlocking the value of this information, helping researchers uncover previously unknown genetic relationships by comparing patients and diseases across massive and growing databases.
Source: National Human Genome Research Institute Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies, iamB Consulting
Personalized medicine has been made possible by scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of how a person’s unique molecular and genetic profile makes them susceptible to certain diseases. This same research is increasing the ability to predict effective treatments for individual patients. New diagnostic tests and the biological markers they measure can help medical professionals evaluate the likelihood a patient will develop a disease, diagnose a disorder, evaluate the severity of a disorder and determine an optimal treatment.
Personalized medicine has potential in both clinical research and patient care. For example, a 34% reduction in chemotherapy use could occur if women with breast cancer receive a genetic test of their tumor prior to treatment. Over $600 million in annual health care cost savings could be realized if patients with metastatic colorectal cancer received a genetic test for the KRAS gene prior to treatment. Some 17,000 strokes could be prevented each year if a genetic test is used to properly dose blood thinners.
New Diagnostic Tools Lead to More Precise Treatments
A significant portion of the $3 trillion Americans spend annually on healthcare is for treatments of little demonstrated value. In fact, over 4 billion prescriptions were written in the United States last year representing close to $500 billion in spending, yet only 50% of prescribed drugs are effective.
The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Several high-volume cancers can benefit from genetic testing, as shown here.
Source: The Advisory Board
In 2017, the FDA approved the first and, to date, only broad panel of genetic-based diagnostic tests for various kinds of cancer and The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Systems issued comments favoring insurance reimbursement, important steps toward commercial adoption. Today, companion diagnostics, in which physicians use individual genetic profiles to identify drugs most likely to successfully treat specific cancers, are used in only 15% of advanced-state cancer patients. Currently, there are 75,000 genetic tests on the market, representing approximately 10,000 unique conditions (up 12-fold from five years ago).
Understanding genetic codes and genetic predispositions for various diseases has enormous consequences, with new tests for celiac disease, Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, early-onset Alzheimer’s, hemophilia and many other chronic diseases, including several types of cancer. About 40% of adults today will be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their lifetime. It is estimated that 73% of cancer medicines in the pipeline will target specific genetic biomarkers.
The genetic testing market was $10.6 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow almost 12% annually from 2018 to 2024. Diagnostic testing is the largest segment with revenue of $5.7 billion, followed by the prenatal and newborn test market. The continued availability of new tests will fuel further demand for genetic testing.
A Pill a Day: No Longer the Prescription of Choice
Over the past 50 years, we have seen stagnation in new drug development. The table below highlights the number of new drug applications received by the Food and Drug Administration between 1940 and 2009. More drug applications were filed between 1940 and 1950 than in the four decades after 1970.
While the methods for treating chronic illness have not changed in decades, the costs have. Adjusted for inflation, cancer drug prices have increased more than 100 fold in the last 50 years. Twenty years ago, an extra year of life cost approximately $50,000 in cancer treatment. Today this figure is closer to $250,000.
Per dollar spent, cancer drugs are delivering less and less value. For example, Gleevac, a leukemia drug manufactured by Novartis, was initially priced at $26,000 per year when introduced in 2001. Price increases resulted in the same formulation costing $120,000 per year at the time of patent expiration.
The exception to this trend is in personalized medicine. Hundreds of targeted therapeutics are now in Phase I, II, and III trials. During the past four years, an average of 25% of new drug approvals were personalized medicines, meaning that an individual’s biomarkers help determine their use. The FDA is now approving personalized medicines based on fewer and smaller clinical trials. In April 2018, former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, expressed the Agency’s goal to further streamline the approval process for small-scale genomic-based treatments. Against a backdrop of slowing overall drug development, the number of drugs associated with patient specific genetic information is accelerating, as shown on the next page.
Source: FDA, iamB consulting
Even as aggregate new drug development slows, rare drug designations that treat orphan illnesses, defined as those with fewer than 200,000 cases in the U.S., are increasing–up from 320 in 2016 to 459 in 2017. Worldwide sales of rare disease drugs are forecast to grow at an annual rate of 11.3% from 2018 to 2024, roughly double the growth rate for the non-rare market.
Some of the most promising genetic-based treatments may require a single dose compared to a regimen of daily maintenance medications. Single-dose therapies customized to an individual’s genetic makeup are designed to provide a one-time cure versus a lifetime of managed care. This will present challenges to an industry accustomed to sustained cash flows from drugs with large user populations, prescription renewals and long-term patent protection. New and different payment models are being evaluated today. Companies such as Novartis and Spark Therapeutics have implemented novel payment approaches that include rebates if the therapy is not effective. A recent example of this new payment paradigm is Spark’s Luxturna, which treats progressive childhood blindness related to a defective gene. The one-time treatment is administered as a single dose and gives patients a working copy of the gene, potentially saving a child from a lifetime of blindness. The treatment carries an $850,000 list price. However Spark has explored an outcomes-based reimbursement policy where the company is paid fully only if the drug works. Legacy payment models are ripe for disruption.
Given their current investments in blockbuster drugs and manufacturing platforms geared toward large-scale production, major pharmaceutical companies are showing an inclination to invest in personalized medicine through acquisitions. Companies that have acquired genomic-based drug capabilities include Bristol Myers, with its acquisition of Celgene; Eli Lilly, with its acquisition of Loxo Oncology; Novartis, with its purchase of AveXis; and most recently, Roche, with its acquisition of Spark Therapeutics. This trend of large pharmaceutical companies acquiring gene-therapy focused companies should continue.
Some of the most promising work is in the areas of cell and gene therapy. Cell and gene therapies deliver benefits through use of a patient’s cells or genome. Gene-editing tools like CRISPR-Cas9 repair defective genes and also impact the genes that will be passed on to future generations. CAR-T is a type of treatment in which a patient’s cells are changed in the lab so, when reintroduced, they will attack cancer cells. These are highly personalized treatments that re-engineer a patient’s own cells to combat certain cancers.
The pace of innovation in cell and gene therapy is accelerating. In August 2017, the first cell therapy was approved by the FDA to treat a rare form of blood cancer. Just two months later, the second cell therapy was approved. At the end of 2017, the FDA approved the first gene therapy to treat a form of progressive blindness. Innovation continued in 2018 as multiple gene editing therapies were approved to begin clinical trials. Recently, the Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule for FY 2019 and Medicare National Coverage Analysis for CAR-T-cell Therapy for Cancer, redesigned policies and payment rates to improve access to personalized CAR-T-cell therapies. This is a precursor to more investment in research and development and, ultimately, wider adoption and use.
Personalized medicine is approaching an inflection point that we think is underappreciated. Decades of work in academia and research labs is translating into new drug development. We see three evolving catalysts:
- Data. A fast-growing database of genomic information is facilitating discovery and understanding of genomic targets. The more we understand about the human genome, the better we are able to identify the unique genes responsible for chronic illness. As more genetic targets for drug therapies emerge, personalized alternatives will replace traditional treatments.
- Delivery. An understanding of genetic linkages with cancer and other chronic diseases is only the first step in mitigating disorders. Doctors need a way to both deliver a therapy to the source of the illness and a mechanism through which to correct the defect. Until recently, there were few vehicles with which to introduce therapeutic changes. Now, there are a growing number of biological and chemical options to deliver cures, such as viral vectors and lipid nanoparticles.
- Manufacturing. Biotech companies now have the expertise to cultivate biological products at scale. Leveraging that expertise into a manufacturing capability will convert what is a current bottleneck into broader commercial adoption.
Our initial thematic research started with the possibilities created by the Human Genome Project. It expanded to encompass molecular science, personalized medicine and technologies that enable broader adoption of breakthrough developments.
Our goal is not to focus on the science of the next century. Our focus is on how technology and medicine can be leveraged to benefit people in the next decade. Our first job is to understand the possibilities. Our second is to understand when they will be relevant and what industries will be affected. Here are some of our thoughts.
- By 2022, the total addressable market opportunity for genomic therapies has been estimated to be $4.8 trillion. We think the opportunity is much larger and extends well beyond the healthcare sector.
- Pioneering companies in biological engineering and manufacture will be winners. Companies with intellectual property rights for genetic model testing and the first to build cell manufacturing facilities will have meaningful advantages.
- As fast as the time and cost have come down to sequence the human genome, it currently takes roughly eight hours to interpret the results of a single person’s sequenced whole genome. With large population studies underway and as sequencing of newborns becomes commonplace, new and improved parallel processing chips, graphic processing units and purpose built chips will be essential.
- Demand growth for genomic sequencers from medical researchers has been augmented by demand from healthcare providers as applications have expanded from research labs to clinical providers. Governments and consumers will be the next source of strong demand growth. This is a technology with high barriers to entry where market leaders will continue to gain market share.
- The advent of personalized medicine will force pharmaceutical companies to reconsider their current business model. The blockbuster model will give way to drug therapies tailored to individual patients. This will require that drugs move through the pipeline faster, are more effective, safer and less costly to develop.
- Personalized medicine is in essence precision medicine and predictive medicine. Companies that produce the tools and technology, such as companion diagnostics, that facilitate better information, better outcomes and lower costs will become increasingly valuable.
Reading the human genome was a comparatively recent breakthrough. The Human Genome Project was officially completed less than two decades ago. Scientists are now developing new and sophisticated ways to not only read the genome, but interpret genetic code, edit genetic code and replace genetic code. Genomics, personalized medicine and associated technologies should prove to be one of the major investment themes for the next decade and beyond.
- Food for Thought: Next Generation Automation Posted in: Latest News, Noteworthy, Video - Bobby Eubank, Research Analyst, discusses our current thinking about one of our global themes.
Bobby Eubank, Research Analyst, discusses our current thinking about one of our global themes.
- Round House Theatre and Chevy Chase Trust Posted in: Community, Noteworthy - On April 6, 2019, Chevy Chase Trust was proud to support Round House Theatre at its 2019 Broadway Near Bethesda Gala. The annual gala raised $280,000 in support of Round House education and artistic programs, making it the most successful Gala in their history.
On April 6, 2019, Chevy Chase Trust was proud to support Round House Theatre at its 2019 Broadway Near Bethesda Gala. The annual Gala raised $280,000 in support of Round House education and artistic programs, making it the most successful Gala in their history. Proceeds will be used to foster the next generation of theatre artists, audiences, and administrators. The night featured Audra McDonald, winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award. Stacy Murchison and Craig Pernick from Chevy Chase Trust attended the event.