Finally… A Cure for Cancer?

Marc Lichtenfeld By Marc Lichtenfeld, Chief Income Strategist, The Oxford Club

Market Trends

Wednesday was a historic day in the biotech field.

A revolutionary way of fighting cancer was approved for the first time by the Food and Drug Administration.

Novartis’ (NYSE: NVS) CAR-T therapy Kymriah got the green light from U.S. regulators to treat children and young adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia who aren’t responding to other more conventional treatments.

These patients will most likely die without the drug.

CAR-T (or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy harvests a patient’s white blood cells. The cells are reengineered to fight the cancer and then injected back into the body.

In Kymriah’s clinical trials, a staggering 83% of patients were cancer-free three months after receiving a single treatment.

Most cancer drugs are considered “successful” if 25% or more patients respond to treatment.

Kymriah will be expensive. The price tag is $475,000 – but in a break from tradition, the patient will be charged only if the treatment works. If a patient doesn’t respond to the treatment within one month, they (or their insurance company) will not be billed.

There are dangers with CAR-T therapies. Most patients experience very high fevers or severe flu-like symptoms, and a few patients have died in clinical trials.

But patients who come out on the other side have a great chance of beating their cancers.

There are other companies with CAR-T drugs, including Kite Pharma (Nasdaq: KITE), that agreed to be acquired by Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) last week.


So far, CAR-T drugs have been shown to work in blood cancers only. They have not yet been effective with solid tumors.

Nevertheless, it is the most exciting thing to happen in cancer therapy in decades. It is not an exaggeration to say that it will likely save thousands of lives in the coming years.

Amazingly, CAR-T therapy might not even be the biggest breakthrough in medicine this decade.

Companies that are working on gene therapy are making progress to cure diseases by changing a person’s DNA. What is amazing about this type of treatment is that it has the potential to not only cure a disease but to prevent the next generation from inheriting it.

These kinds of incredible advancements are one of the reasons why investors are so attracted to the healthcare space. Medical breakthroughs will lead to significant growth over the coming years.

And some of the small stocks in the sector have the potential for thousand-percent growth.

Well-known blue chip biotechs like Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN), Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG) and Gilead were at one time relatively unknown small caps that rallied hundredfold over time, turning $10,000 into $1 million – and in most cases, much more.

Of course, there are plenty of stocks that went nowhere – or worse, went to zero.

Here’s how I look for tomorrow’s biggest biotech winners today while trying to avoid the future zeroes…

  1. Great management – I want a management team with a record of success. Let someone else invest in a company where this is the CEO’s first job with responsibility.
  2. Upcoming catalyst – I don’t want to wait around forever for something to happen. Medical research can take a while. Give me a company that has an important event coming up in the next six months, like clinical trial data being released or an FDA approval decision.
  3. A good-looking chart – Sometimes these stocks can get moving even without a big fundamental catalyst. If the stock’s chart looks strong, that improves the chances that the share price will move in the right direction.

With all of the amazing discoveries and developments in the biotech sector, it’s a fantastic time to invest some risk capital. Just picking one of the right stocks could put a lot more money in your account.

Good investing,

Marc

P.S. I recently discovered one under-the-radar company with 19 patents on what I call the “Genesis Cure.” It could eliminate a total of 4,800 diseases and save millions of lives. To learn more about the Genesis Cure and the company behind it, click here now.