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Best Investments 2013: This Could Be the Most Lucrative Time Ever for Biotech

Some of the most exciting developments in the last fifty years have been in the biotechnology industry – which has also meant the emergence of some of the best investments for 2013.

Just look at the progress biotech has made in medicine.

Using advanced technology and research, scientists in the life sciences industry are working on cures for diseases that have plagued mankind for decades. In a relatively short period of time, biotechnology has produced medications that have pushed many forms of cancer to the brink of defeat. HIV infection went from a death sentence to a manageable – and almost cured – condition, in just a few decades.

Biotech share prices have reflected these successes.

As Barron's pointed out last week, biotech stocks have soared 111% over the past couple years, about three times better than healthcare stocks.

And early investors in biotech have seen astronomical gains over the past four to five years.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) has soared from less than $5 a share back in 2005 to more than $240 a share today as its drugs have been used to battle ophthalmological disease and several forms of cancer. Incyte Corp. (Nasdaq: INCY) has seen its stock price rise from $2 a share just four years ago to more than $20 today. Early investors in industry leader Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) have seen gains of almost 100 times their initial investment.

But those gains are far from over.

In fact, right now just may be the best time in history to be an investor in the biotechnology sector.

Why Biotech is Among the Best Investments of 2013

As the population ages the demand for new drugs and treatment is growing rapidly.

In response to this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to speed up the testing and approval process for new drugs. Last year the agency approved 30% more new drugs than the year before – the most in 16 years.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Jeff Pluim | May 7, 2013

    There is no doubt that genetic research will lead to gains in the life expectancy of the average person, that we could only dream of. Futurists are saying that there are people alive today, who will be alive 2,000 and 3,000 years from today, all because of advances in genetic medicine.
    But as for the 30% increase in drugs approved by the FDA last year, that is very deceiving. First off, the FDA is in the pockets of big pharma. What big pharma wants, big pharma gets. Many of those approved drugs are actually existing drugs that are having their patent coverages run out. So what does big pharma do? They change the dosage of a drug, from say 10 mg to 23 mg, and then they talk the FDA into approving the "new" drug, regardless of the increased adverse side effects of such a move.
    Big pharma is all about the buck and anyone who has done even a little research on the topic understands that they (big pharma) don't really give a damn about the end user of their drugs. And that is such a shame because there are some truly dedicated researchers who deserve to benefit in a big way from their advances, in genetic medicine especially.
    How do we as moral investors, separate the truly dedicated from the money grubbers?

  2. Sharmin | May 14, 2013

    Very well written comment. Often scientists literally pour their lives into their work in the hopes of taking mankind one step further, but it's up to the public to educate themselves (obviously this is much easier now than in the past due to the advances in information technology) and to influence policy makers so that their own future is not jeopardized by biased big corporations.
    However, at the same time, big pharma often pushes applied research further (as opposed to basic) research because they have the capital to pour into it – capital generated from these patent based drugs. So how does one give credit to the scientists, give due returns to these corporations, but still get the drugs to those who really need them?

    Maybe public awareness and accurate information dissipation are good places to start?

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