An End to Disease Thanks to the ‘Living Drug’?

In 2017, seven-year-old Kaitlyn Johnson got ready for her first summer camp.

Like most kids before their first camp, she was a little nervous.

Kaitlyn was used to nights away. But she had never slept over anywhere other than a hospital.

At 18 months old, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Her life worked around treatments and hospital sleep overs.

There is no cure for leukaemia, only treatment. The most common is chemotherapy.

For three years, the chemo didn’t help. ‘This did nothing, it didn’t touch it,’ the doctors told Kaitlyn’s partners. Such a scenario for most children is fatal.

With no other options, Kaitlyn’s doctors suggested a radical new therapy. It was still undergoing trails. But it might be Kaitlyn’s only chance.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I would be in the bathroom at the hospital, spending an hour in the shower just crying, thinking, what are we going to do if this doesn’t help her?’ Kaitlyn’s mother recalled.

But it did.

A potential 90% rate to kick cancer

In Friday’s Money Morning I made some pretty big claims.

I wrote about the new medical revolution. One that could put an end to cancer one day. In time, it could even end major diseases.

Rather than fighting the diseases, this technology super charges your own immune system.

And with this treatment, Kaitlyn was able to kick cancer.

Reported by TIME magazine:

What saved Kaitlyn was an infusion of her own immune cells that were genetically modified to destroy her leukemia. “You take someone who essentially has no possibility for a cure —almost every single one of these patients dies — and with [this] therapy, 90% go into remission,” says Dr. David Porter, director of blood and bone-marrow transplantation at the University of Pennsylvania.

Remember, this technology was still in testing phases. And it helped 90% of patients with cancer…that’s nothing short of amazing!

As I said on Friday, this isn’t some five to 10-year pipe dream. Kids like Kaitlyn can get this treatment today! 

While there are still ongoing trails, 2018 saw this technology explode onto the medical scene. It is the breakthrough medical researchers have been searching for.

Doctors like Dr Renier J Brentjens are calling this breakthrough technology a ‘living drug’.

I’ll explain why in time.

First, I’d like to draw your attention to the billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies falling over themselves to buy anything to do with this living drug.

Two in particular believe the living drug could be their winning ticket.

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Paying a 300% premium for the ‘LIVING DRUG’

Gilead Sciences, Inc. [NASDAQ:GILD] isn’t a name everyone’s familiar with.

But this US$100 billion US pharma is one of the largest HIV firms in the world.

In 2015, Gilead generated more than US$32 billion in sales. Most of that came from their HIV business. Just two years later, sales back peddled.

Their HIV business was declining fast. Management had to come up with a way to stop the bleeding.

Management decided to venture into a new field, one that would sustain growing sales for years to come.

Gilead went ahead and bought such an opportunity late last year. They paid US$11.2 billion (or $180 per share) for little known Kite Pharma Inc.

Just months before, Kite was trading for about $45 per share.

What caused Gilead to pay a 300% premium for the company?

Kite was developing their own version of the living drug. And they were getting extremely close bringing it to market.

Seeing Gilead buy Kite, Celgene Corporation [NASDAQ:CELG] (another billion dollar pharma) quickly bought Juno Therapeutics at the turn of 2018.

Like Kite, Juno was also developing a version of the living drug. And like Gilead, Celgene was willing to pay up for the pioneering firm.

Celgene would pay US$9 billion for Juno, which was more than 150% of what the company was worth at the start of 2017.

In this ground breaking field its Gilead versus Celgene versus Novartis AG [SWX:NOVN]. The latter is a $200 billion pharma who have developed their version of the living drug in-house.

But I believe there will be a fourth company, one that’s currently developing a living drug that could rise above the rest. They’re getting ever closer to commercialisation with regulatory approval around the corner.

Want to know the name?

Keep an eye out for Tuesday’s Money Morning.

Your friend,

Harje Ronngard,
Editor, Money Morning


Harje Ronngard is the lead Editor at Money Morning. With an academic background in finance and investments, Harje knows how simple, yet difficult investing can be. He has worked with a range of assets classes, from futures to equities. But he’s found his niche in equity valuation. There are two questions Harje likes to ask of any investment. What is it worth? And how much does it cost? These two questions alone open up a world of investment opportunities which Harje shares with Money Morning readers 5 days a week.. Harje also contributes his insights in Total Income, headed by income specialist Matt Hibbard. Harje loves cash-rich businesses, so he feels right at home among Matt’s incredibly exciting income plays.


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