If you picked up the paper recently, you might’ve noticed that something important is going down in the world of cancer research.
“Have we cured cancer?” asked the BBC…
“Doctors hail ‘spectacular’ step towards cancer cure” read the front page of The Times…
And the Telegraph didn’t hedge its bets: “Cure for terminal cancer’ found in game-changing drugs”.
They were reporting on a trial in which British scientists tested a clever new strategy for fighting cancer.
Clearly, the trial was a big success. The scientists think they may have discovered a third “weapon” with which to fight the disease, along with surgery and chemo – it’s called immunotherapy.
Today I want to talk to you about immunotherapy… why it matters to investors… and give our own Tom Bulford credit for alerting his readers to this story back in 2014…
Fixing the first line of defence
The immune system is the body’s first line of defence against disease.
White blood cells float around the body looking for “foreign” cells like viruses and bacteria. When they recognise a foreign cell, white blood cells attack and destroy it.
This is how the body continually rids itself of the harmful cells which cause disease.
But when it comes to cancer, the immune system is completely useless. That’s because cancer is not caused by harmful foreign cells, like the TB bacteria or the HIV virus. Cancer is caused by our own cells going haywire – specifically, by cells dividing too quickly or too slowly. White blood cells don’t attack cancer cells because they don’t recognise them as dangerous.
So the task is pretty clear. Biotech companies needed to convince white blood cells to attach cancer cells. But needless to say, that’s an insanely complicated job… and it looks like they’ve finally cracked it.
It’s said that cancer is a devastating disease because it turns the body against itself. Immunotherapy convinces the body to fight back.
This is all great news. But what’s the investing angle?
Our inside man
Well, investors and the public often don’t pay a lot of attention to biotech. It’s a bit removed from everyday life. But the thing is, biotech is absolutely booming. This cancer study is just the tip of the iceberg.
Huge developments in biotechnology barely make a ripple outside of the industry – until three or four years later when the drugs pass their final trials, and the mainstream takes notice.
Tom Bulford is part of that world now. He’s been a professional fund manager of one kind or another for over 20 years, but in 2013 he made the brave decision to focus entirely on biotech. It’s worked out well. The last few years have been probably the most exciting time ever for biotech, and he’s been right in the thick of it.
…which brings us back to the cancer trials which hit the news last week.
Credit where it’s due…
Tom’s been way ahead of the curve on this. He first wrote about an immunotherapy breakthrough last year. Here’s what he wrote back then:
“The treatment is known as Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy (CAR T-Cell, for short), and is a great illustration of the way in which… the body’s own immune system can beat cancer.
Last month Novartis announced the results of a study carried out with the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Thirty patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were treated with immunotherapy, and 27 experienced complete remission – a stunning result.”
Tom doesn’t just report on biotech. He has discovered and tipped specific biotech companies which are working on the science of immunotherapy. And you can only find his research in Breakthrough Biotech Alert, his weekly newsletter.
Tom first spotted the potential in this story last year.
And he put his head start to good use! In that time he’s found three companies he believes are poised to profit from the news… AND he’s just finished writing a report to show you how to get involved.
The report comes out today. Keep an eye on your inbox!