- Despite mixed performance in recent years, the healthcare sector shows promising opportunities for investors in 2024.
- Innovative companies in areas like cancer treatment and digital health are driving investment potential.
- Significant demographic trends and an increase in M&A activities are expected to fuel growth in the sector.
The Evolving Healthcare Investment Scenario
In recent years, the healthcare sector has shown a varied performance, presenting both challenges and opportunities for investors. The listed markets have struggled with poor returns and a scarcity of IPOs. In contrast, private markets have thrived, with companies increasingly raising funds privately. This trend has impacted the traditional cycle of cash and exits for larger venture capitalists.
Driving Forces Behind Healthcare Innovation
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for innovation in the healthcare market. Companies have been compelled to focus more on cash flow and business strategy, leading to better management and risk mitigation. These developments have created fertile ground for investors, offering more opportunities to engage with promising healthcare ventures.
The Double-Edged Sword of Healthcare Investments
Investing in healthcare has its pros and cons. Positively, the sector is influenced by significant demographic trends, such as an aging population and the rise in diseases associated with old age. This demographic shift is creating a demand for new healthcare solutions and digital innovations. On the downside, healthcare investments carry inherent risks and often involve long development timeframes. For instance, only about 10% of drugs that start clinical development eventually make it to market, and the process can take up to 15 years.
Spotlight on Promising Companies
Looking ahead to 2024, certain companies in the healthcare sector stand out:
Scancell’s Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment
Scancell has made significant strides in validating its cancer vaccine platforms. The company’s ImmunoBody DNA cancer vaccine, SCIB1, is being tested in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced unresectable melanoma. Early data has been promising, with a high objective response rate and no increase in toxicity.
Spectral AI’s Innovative Contract
Spectral AI has secured a contract worth up to US$149 million from BARDA for the clinical validation and FDA clearance of its DeepView® technology. The multi-year award includes deploying DeepView® devices in various burn centers and emergency rooms to support health economic and outcome research, which could lead to broader clinical adoption of the system.
Future Outlook for Healthcare Sector
The outlook for the healthcare sector in 2024 and beyond is promising. There is a growing trend of increased investment by large corporations, particularly big pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, a surge in mergers and acquisitions involving innovative healthcare companies is likely to drive growth in the sector. Notably, investments in dementia-related research and more efficient disease management are starting to show positive impacts.
Calculus, a pioneer in tax-efficient investing, has been focusing on high-growth UK-based private companies across the fastest-growing sectors – technology, healthcare, and entertainment. Over the past 23 years, Calculus’ experienced team has built a reputation for delivering profitable portfolio company exits, benefiting EIS investors and VCT shareholders.
For more information on Calculus and its insights into the healthcare sector, visit www.calculuscapital.com.
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