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Trust’s NAV exceeds GBP 300 million

Published on 17th July 2020

Science background with molecule or atom Abstract structure for Science or medical background
Science background with molecule or atom Abstract structure for Science or medical background

I am pleased to present International Biotechnology Trust’s factsheet for June 2020:

https://ibtplc.com/news/ibt-fact-sheet-june-2020/

Again, in June, the Trust’s net asset value (NAV) hit a new all-time high and recorded a NAV of over GBP 300 million at the end of June 2020.

One of the top ten holdings of the Trust at the end of June was Genmab, a Danish biotech company with a focus on therapies for cancer diseases. Over the last years it has developed and commercialised, in collaboration with partners, two new therapies for cancer, Daratumumab for multiple myeloma and Ofatumumab for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Teprotumumab for thyroid eye disease. Genmab also has several potential new drugs in various stages of development using innovating drug technologies. In June, the company presented positive results for Tisotumab vedotin, a drug used to treat cervical cancer. This is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) composed of Genmab’s human monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to tissue factor and Seattle Genetics, Inc.’s ADC technology that utilises a cleavable linker and the cytotoxic drug monomethyl auristatin E.

There are several other companies who use the ADC technology to develop new therapies for cancer. One example is Immunomedics, another top ten holding of the Trust, whose ADC drug, Trodelvy, was approved in April 2020 for triple negative breast cancer. In July, the company presented additional positive clinical results, further strengthening the commercial potential for this new drug.

Fundamentally the biotech sector is generating new therapies and vaccines to combat serious diseases, and the speed at which this is done is steadily increasing. This is what we refer to as innovation and it is driving the current and future performance of the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the bio-pharmaceutical sector and its innovative capacity. There are many vaccine programs in development and there might be a vaccine ready for use in the first half of 2021. Sadly, the pandemic is still very active, and we hear about reports of newly infected cases all around the world. However, the stock market is forward looking and, with a prospect of a vaccine in the first half of 2021, in our view the market is starting to look beyond the pandemic.

Lastly, a few words on our outlook for the future. In the coming months, the election in the U.S. is expected to be on the forefront of people’s minds. With the resurgence of COVID-19 in the U.S., and the perceived handling of the situation by Trump, Biden is now the favourite candidate and is currently polling ahead of Trump. If Biden wins the National Election, and especially if the Democrats win the House and the Senate, he may initiate reform for the U.S. healthcare system, which may cause uncertainty for the healthcare segment of the financial market. It is our view that he will continue the reforms initiated by Barack Obama, rather than implement a complete overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. Consequently, it is likely that he will focus on advancing/adjusting Obamacare which should have a relatively predictable impact on the type of companies which the Trust invests in.

You may have noticed that the Trust appointed two new non-executive directors to the Board in May 2020. We welcome Kate Cornish-Bowden and Patrick Magee and view them as strong new additions to the Board.

Thank you for taking the time to read our factsheet.

As always, be safe.

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