Medical technology is rapidly moving toward the development, treatment and cure of specific diseases or prolonged life treatments. These new drugs use human genome sequencing to determine a specific area of study. We often call these “designer drugs.”
Brief History of Human Genome Sequencing
The initial idea of mapping the human genome started in 1984. The project got underway in 1990 and was a collaboration of scientists across the globe. In the United States $3 billion in funding came from the US Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Completion of the project was announced in 2003.
It was the cost of genome sequencing that held back much of the research that we have today. Initially the costs ranged from $1 to $10 billion. The price has dropped steadily and rapidly and is expected to fall below $1000 in two years. A small start up company, Eve Biomedical, is on a quest to bring to cost down to $100.
Public Companies Now Developing New Drugs with Genome Sequencing
An entire new industry has sprung up in genome sequencing. They fall into two main categories: 1. Companies that provide genome sequencing to other drug companies and 2. Companies that use genome sequencing to develop new drugs to treat specific diseases or conditions. The two big players in providing genome sequencing are Illumina (ILMN) and Life Technologies (LIFE).
Illumina (ILMN) Illumina provides information that other companies can use to develop drugs and therapies, customize diagnosis and treat and cure diseases.
Recent price. $170.84 52 week high/low $185/$72.77 EPS is $1.86 PE ratio in 94.79 Market Cap is $22 billion.
Life Technologies (LIFE) The Company profile and stats are minimal. Recent price is $76.04 52 week range is $76.10/$56.67 Recent SEC filings for third quarter of 2013 are Sales of $935,090 and net profit of $118,246.
Drug Companies Engaged in Research using Genome Sequencing
Sequenom (SQNM) The company is engaged in discovering heredity carriers for Cystic Fibrosis. Recent price $3.64 52 week high/low is $4.17/$1.65
EPS is -.75 Market Cap is $428.15 million.
Complete Genomics (GNOM) The company has developed a DNA sequencing platform for human genome sequencing.
Recent Price $3,14 52 week high/low is $3,50/$1.57
Affymetrix (AFFX) The company manufacturers DNA micro arrays. Recent price is $8.37 52 week high/low is $9.80/$3.70 EPS is .14 PE ratio is 60.14 Market Cap is $606.60 million.
GE Global Research (GE) GE maintains several global research labrotories throughout the world.
IBM offers hardware and software to users of human genome sequencing.
Pacific Biosciences (PACB) The company develops, manufacturers and sells its single molecule real time SMRT technology and provides an integrated platform for genetic analysis.
Recent price is $5.50 52 week high/low is $8.20/$2.54 EPS is -$1.18 Market Cap is $387.53 million.
As you can see the technology is in its infancy with many of the companies listed as start ups. A note of caution to investors here. Be sure to do your due diligence and research before taking a position in these smaller companies. If you do buy, you may want to risk only a small amount of your capital.