Science ... is golden. You just don't hear about it.
That's how I feel about this terrific JPMorgan (JPM) Healthcare conference, the one that is totally overshadowed by events in Washington and the storming of the Capitol.
We live in a suspect time; the truth is obscured, events are subject to interpretation -- after they occurred -- so-called post-truth, and the cynicism is so thick that it coats everything with toxic waste.
But some things are objective and are not subject to interpretation, things like the victories we are hearing about from CEOs of health care companies that are addressing a sophisticated audience of investors.
Let's start with Eli Lilly's (LLY) drug that has been shown to slow the onset of Alzheimer's in recently symptomatic patients, long the failed dream of so many pharmaceutical companies. In an admittedly small phase 2 trial, Lilly tested a monoclonal antibody that slowed patients' decline in cognition and daily function by 32% relative to a placebo. Within about a year and half, the data showed the plaques that are associated with Alzheimer's were significantly reduced in most patients.
That's stunning. I believe if the Republic weren't in danger of cratering, this story would have led the New York Times. Two column banner. Instead there was a squib about it that was shorter than an article about the New York Jets losing still one more game.
About 50 million people worldwide have dementia, with 10 million new people diagnosed each year. Alzheimer's causes about 60% to 70% of those stricken with dementia.
I know many major pharmaceutical drug execs, both current and past, who have spent billions trying to get these results and have had to give up in frustration. Everything has failed. Few companies are even attempting to beat this disease even as it is one of the biggest unmet needs out there.
Science was golden.
How about vaccines? All we hear about is the clown show of vaccine distributions with 50 states coordinating 50 different ways of distributing the vaccines. No federal plan for getting the needle into your arm because the President decided to burden the states, which have no idea what they are doing and no budget to do so.
Pfizer (PFE) , however, upped its production numbers. Looks like it can produce two billion vaccines. If our vaccine administration weren't so godawful, we would be cheering the science of coming up with that many vaccines.
Instead, nobody cares, because it will probably end up on a bunch of shelves somewhere and then go bad. A miracle squandered.
How about Medtronic (MDT) ? It's got a new device that can possibly knock out hypertension, a leading cause of death. It can monitor it and tell you how you can keep your blood pressure at the perfect level. There's never been anything like it and no one I know has ever thought it would be possible. Too many false positives. Too many things that go wrong. No more.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced it is applying for a new drug that could basically save the lives of people with heart failure. It's a huge market.
The market's saying, so what?
I could go on and on.
Fortunately, there are enough professional investors who are profiting from it. Unfortunately, in a time of national gloom, these breakthroughs are ignored by the media and positives go unnoticed.
At least here they don't. Science is indeed golden, but I won't let it be silent anymore. We need something to cheer about. Eureka, I think I have found it.