We're on the brink of a technological revolution that has been called "the medical equivalent of splitting the atom."
Reports of tumors melting away in a matter of days... of inoperable cancer going into complete remission... death sentences being erased...
I'm talking about immuno-oncology.
It is a fundamental change in the way we think about cancer and cancer treatment - a shift that could one day make traditional treatments obsolete.
Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy either poison the body or cutting parts of it out in an attempt to fight the disease. Immunotherapy stimulates and super-charges the patient's own immune system to defeat the rogue cells.
Not only is this entirely new territory for medicine, but it's arguably the most exciting and profitable industry to invest in today.
I'm Kevin Cook, Senior Stock Strategist at Zacks Investment Research. I'm going to tell you a little more about the science AND the incredible opportunity it creates for investors in just a moment.
First, I'd like to share a real-life example of the power of immunotherapy.
The Amazing Case Study of a Patient Named Jason
After 4 years of intense treatment, Jason's doctor gave him the worst kind of bad news.
Four years of radiation and chemotherapy had failed him. Instead of improving his condition, his cancer got worse. He had developed a 15-pound tumor in his left lung. It was so big that it bulged out of his back.
Jason's body couldn't take it anymore...
All the doctor could do is make Jason's final days as comfortable as possible.
As a last-ditch, nothing-to-lose effort, Jason agreed to try an experimental drug. This drug, called a checkpoint inhibitor, destroys cancer's ability to block normal immune response. It unleashes killer T-Cells to attack with full force.
The results were dramatic to say the least.
After just 3 days, his tumor had visibly shrunk, and within 6 weeks, the cancer was in full remission!
Think about that. A man went from his deathbed to cancer-free in less than 2 months! Without having to go under the knife or go through brutal rounds of radiation and chemo.
Scientists Are Finally Cracking Cancer's Secret Codes
Jason's story is just one of many remarkable success stories coming out of the world of immunotherapy.
Researchers are just scratching the surface of what's possible. Ultimately, their discoveries could save hundreds of thousands or even millions of lives.
For centuries, we've resorted to drastic, often dangerous ways treat cancer.
- Surgery has been used to remove tumors since ancient Egypt!
- Radiation and chemotherapy often cause severe fatigue, hair loss, lowered resistance to infections, even heart and lung conditions.
- Both radiation and chemotherapy have been shown to cause "second cancers" different from the one they were used to treat.
Doctors have known that exposure to radiation and chemicals can actually cause cancer since the early 1900s. But they didn't have any other options to fight the disease.
Immunotherapy is now possible because of major advances in our understanding of how cancer operates.
Dr. Louis Weiner, Director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University puts it this way:
"Every so-called successful cancer has had to figure out a way to either evade or overpower the immune system in which it is growing... If you can understand the tools that the cancers are using to defeat their own body's immune system, you ought to be able to treat that cancer."
As scientists have started to understand the tools cancer cells use to hide themselves, they've begun developing their own tools to give the immune system the upper hand.
That's What Makes This Industry Doubly Exciting
Number 1, Immuno-oncology is turning many cancers from terminal diseases into treatable conditions.
According to recent statistics, as much as half of the planet's population could get cancer in their lifetime. Every step forward we take in the war against cancer will have enormous impact.
Number 2, the companies that develop these treatments could potentially hand you big investment gains.
For example, Incyte climbed +951% after bringing their anti-cancer drug Jakafi to the market in 2011.
That's enough to turn $10,000 into more than $95,000.
Opportunities like these can be life-changing for both patients AND investors.
Shaking Up the Multi-Trillion Dollar Healthcare Industry
Quantum leaps in the science behind immunotherapy and other medical developments is 1 of 4 unstoppable megatrends that are already revolutionizing healthcare industry, which is worth $4 trillion a year in the U.S. alone.
They're already creating massive profit opportunities, too.
I call Megatrend #1 Boomer Power. One in 8 people in the world are 60+ years old, and that percentage is increasing every year. The United Nations has said this is "one of the most significant trends of the 21 century."
The average life expectancy is also on the rise.
What does that mean? More seniors needing more medicines and more healthcare for a longer time.
Unstoppable Megatrend #2 is Science Power. Major advancements are taking place across the medical field.
You've seen how immunotherapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment. Millions of people could have years added to their lives.
And this is just ONE area where medical science is exploding. That leads us right into the next megatrend.
Unstoppable Megatrend #3 is Earnings Power. Breakthroughs that save lives and improve quality of life will create opportunity.
Smaller biotech companies are pouring billions of dollars into cutting-edge research and development. They wouldn't do that if they didn't see a high-probability path to profit.
Unstoppable Megatrend #4 is Mergers & Acquisitions Power. Big pharmaceutical companies are constantly on the prowl, looking to buy fresh science to keep innovative drugs in their pipelines.
When mergers and acquisitions happen, look out! There's been over $500 billion in Biopharma M&A since 2009. The next couple years could see just as much activity, if not more.
Why is this so significant? One quick example is Gilead Sciences, which purchased a company called Pharmasset in 2013 to get their hands on its groundbreaking Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
Gilead's Sovaldi revenue shot through the roof - and its share price followed along, soaring +426% in the next 3 years.
This is just one example of how Big Pharma's insatiable appetite for new drugs can turn into tremendous gains for well-informed investors.
These Megatrends Are Literally Unstoppable...
No matter what's going on in Washington, no legislation can slow down the aging population, the advances in medical science and the unbelievable wealth that they will create in the coming years.
And now Zacks is providing a way to take full advantage.
Introducing Healthcare Innovators, Zacks' newest portfolio service.
Today I invite you look inside Zacks' first portfolio service that focuses exclusively on healthcare stocks with extreme long-term growth potential.
We're tracking for stocks that have the greatest chances of capitalizing on the 4 megatrends we've talked about. This gives us exposure to:
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- Leading hospitals and care facilities
- Healthcare companies from across the spectrum that are prime targets for huge buyouts from larger companies.
Healthcare Innovators will hold up to 30 stocks with strong Zacks Rank profiles. We'll keep them in the portfolio as long as we see long-term profits to be made. Think more in terms of years than months.
Right now, I'm closely monitoring 3 companies producing the next wave of breakthrough immunotherapy drugs...
...what the National Cancer Institute has called a class of living drugs... the "fifth pillar of cancer treatment."
We've already grabbed 2 of them for the portfolio and we're looking for the right moment to buy into the third. I fully expect outsized returns on each of them.
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Zacks Ultimate gives you full access to Healthcare Innovators and all of our most valuable services:
|Black Box Trader||$995/yr||Included|
|Home Run Investor||$299/yr||Included|
|Stocks Under $10||---||Included|
|Zacks Top 10 Stocks||$299/yr||Included|
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Healthcare Innovators keeps you up-to-date on this exciting investment sector
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Medical science and technology are expanding faster than ever before. More and bigger breakthroughs are on the horizon. It's next to impossible for investors to keep up!
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I look forward to sharing these special companies with you during the next 30 days, and for many years to come.
Senior Stock Strategist