Andy Hsieh: The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unfortunate and tragic event. And it’s important to recognize the frontline healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to keep us save while saving lives. I think it’s also very encouraging to see the pharmaceutical industry working with government agencies, scientists, clinicians, public health experts, making progress at a remarkable speed to find a solution. From the biotech equity research standpoint, I’d like to share with you three observations. First is the importance of investing in the fight against infectious diseases. For example, in the therapeutic field, Gilead was able to repurpose a drug called remdesivir that was originally designed for the treatment of Ebola before COVID-19. Similarly, J&J and Moderna were able to leverage the learnings from Ebola vaccine development and quickly pivot. Second, given the strain on our healthcare system, we do see some impact across the board for the bio tech sector. However, there are bifurcations in the degree of impact. In oncology, where I focus most of my attention, drugs that are given intravenously by physician will likely experience more disruptions than orally available therapies, which could be received by mail.
Lastly, based on opinion polling, recent public perception of the pharmaceutical industry has been rather negative. I’m hopeful that when we finally get through the pandemic, given that the industry is now viewed as a part of the solution, the sentiment will gradually improve.