The words impact investing typically bring to mind strategies that allocate funds to reflect strong environmental principles.
What they often miss is the intersection of disruptive technology with sustainable investing principles. Perhaps surprising to some is that the intersection includes genomics, making the ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG) a relevant play on sustainability.
Noting that healthy economic growth is one of the core tenants of sustainability, genomics is positioned as a prime play on a new era of investing.
“We believe that historians will deem this era as one of unprecedented technological foment,” said ARK Investor Director of Research Brett Winton in a new report. “They will identify robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage, DNA sequencing, and blockchain technology as transformative innovation platforms that entered critical inflection points during this decade.”
Linking Sustainable Ideas Together
DNA sequencing, genome editing, and living therapies are among the genomics concepts that are integral to the sustainability conversation.
For example, sequencing technologies are useful in biofuel and crop production while CRISPR technologies can replace and repair genes, alleviating chronic illnesses and improving patient outcomes along the way. Overall, genomic sequencing can make diagnoses more accurate and efficient for healthcare professionals while extending and boosting quality of life for patients. As just one example, evolving liquid biopsy technology is a vital sustainability concept.
“While researchers have considered such tests theoretically possible, they have been unsure about the precision and costs associated with them until recently,” notes Winton. “In 2015, a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy pan-cancer test would have cost health systems a prohibitive $30,000. According to our research, in the past year, advances in next generation sequencing, machine learning, and synthetic biology have pushed the costs down to the $1,500 range, similar to those of traditional imaging techniques.”
Genomics is also joining the fight against cancer.
“ARK believes detecting it early will be key to transforming cancer from a killer into a chronic disease. A pan cancer liquid biopsy promises not only early detection but also access to life-saving diagnoses. Moreover, the cost declines and improvements in blood-sample-based cancer detection are likely to continue well beyond 2025,” according to Winton.
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