At BCIF, we have identified the key themes that will underpin healthcare over the next decades - we call them waves. We then find the right boats and crew (companies) that can navigate those waves.
Initial investment focus will be on four key themes:
• Personalised/precision medicine
• Infectious diseases and drug resistance
• Feeding the world.
Nearly two decades after the sequencing of the human genome, we are about to witness the real genomic revolution:
• Individual genomes/epigenetics can drive decisions about health and nutrition
• Next generation sequencing (NGS) can rapidly identify changes in diseased tissues
• Gene editing is offering routine modification of the genetic make-up of cells.
In oncology, it is now possible to identify how to attack a tumour and what to attack it with:
• Our armoury is changing from chemotherapy to targeted immune cells, e.g. CAR-T, immune modulators, antibody-drug conjugates, biospecifics, etc.
• What is needed is the ability to rapidly target the effector of choice on a personalised basis.
The areas for investment are in a combination of more targeted/precision medicines, NGS, high-speed biologics, big data and machine learning.
The battle between infectious agents and mammals, be they humans or livestock, is a real issue:
• The evolution of infectious agents will bring an ever-changing array of adversaries
• Increased population density in cities and on farms accelerates the pace of transmission increasing the risk of pandemics
• The overuse of antibiotics is accelerating the pace of evolution and leading to multi-drug resistant bacteria.
There is a need to eradicate persistent infections in populations, e.g. malaria, and in individuals, e.g. viral infections. There is a growing need to be able to respond rapidly to epidemic-causing viruses and multi-drug resistant bacteria.
The areas for investment include development of novel vacines and anti-bacterial solutions that address unment medical need, as well as rapid diagnostic tests and point of care solutions.
• Keeping people healthy for longer, improving lives and productivity
• The greatest risk factor for most chronic diseases is age
• If life expectancy is 80 years, on average the last 20 years will be lived with the symptoms of a worsening age-related condition
• Two thirds of all health expenditure accrues in those last 20 years
• People enter aged care because of issues with cognition and, more often, mobility
• With baby boomers now aged 52-72, we have a populous generation that is about to run out of ‘healthspan’.
The areas for investment are in wellness, preventative medicine, regenerative medicine, addressing chronic diseases and, ultimately, in slowing the aging/senescence process.
• The world population is growing and needs to be fed
• Improving health outcomes through nutrition
• There is already a continuing problem of malnutrition in many parts of the world
• Changes in population and climate require continual evolution in agriculture and environmental practices.
The areas for investment include biological solutions for farmers, improving water and soil health, reducing the use of chemical inputs, as well as sustainable proteins, food security, safety and traceability.