Get healthy returns from these three innovative healthcare stocks

Professional investor Michael Li of the American Century Advanced Medical Impact Fund looks at three healthcare stocks

Healthcare is an exciting sector. The incredibly rapid development of effective coronavirus vaccines is just one example of its tremendous potential for innovation and making a positive social impact. We also feel there is scope for healthy returns. Healthcare companies are innovating not just in therapeutics and medical devices, but also in terms of big data and analytics. As a result, we believe we are on the verge of a transformation in how care is delivered and diseases are treated. 

Speeding up drug trials

Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) is a cloud-software company whose technology helps plan drug trials safely and effectively. The process of developing a new drug takes over a decade and costs millions of dollars. This use of data analytics and information technology helps reduce approval times and costs, and raises the probability of success. 

The company serves over 750 customers, including 20 of the largest pharmaceutical companies. Its technology typically accelerates regulatory submissions by 20%, which is crucial for patients likely to benefit from innovative treatments. Veeva’s platform also accelerates drug development by reducing the start-up time in clinical studies by 40%. 

A cocktail to combat Covid-19

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: REGN) is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of medicines for the treatment of serious diseases. It is pouring resources into research and development (R&D) and it maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive genetic databases, with a million people sequenced by the Regeneron Genetics Center. Regeneron is well known today for its Covid-19 antiviral drug cocktail, which has so far proved effective against the various strains of the disease, and is gaining market share from competing therapies. But Regeneron’s research effort goes far beyond Covid-19. 

The company has developed and markets drugs addressing several serious medical conditions, including a type of inoperable skin cancer, wet age-related macular degeneration, asthma and eczema among others. Regeneron has approximately 30 potential treatments in clinical development. 

Transforming diabetes care

DexCom (Nasdaq: DXCM) is an innovative medical-device company transforming the quality of life and standard of care for diabetics. The company produces a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, which allows patients and care providers to evaluate and adjust care quickly and effectively in real time. 

A sensor is placed under the patient’s skin and attached to a tiny transmitter that continuously relays data on blood-sugar levels. The data can be read on a dedicated receiver, displayed on an iPhone, or monitored remotely by a care provider. This technology is transformative: traditional glucose monitoring depends on intermittent, inconvenient and painful finger pricks and self-monitoring. 

Not only is DexCom attractive for its positive impact on the lives of diabetics, but the company is also gaining market share, broadening the range of potential applications for its products and expanding geographically.

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