ONLY A few years ago, very few investors were interested in biotech. How quickly things change. Last year was the most active for biotechnology IPOs since 2000, with 38 biotech companies selling themselves on Wall Street. And 2014 is off to a roaring start. This is great news for biomedical innovation in general, and Boston in particular.
What has changed? For one, fundamental scientific discoveries made over a decade ago are now making their way from academic labs at places like Harvard and MIT, all the way to drugs that can help patients. The human genome was sequenced in 2000, and a little more than a decade later, key beneficiaries are today’s cancer patients. There has been a fundamental shift in how we treat cancer. We are now able to determine the precise genetic lesions that represent the Achilles’ heel of a given cancer, and target highly specific drugs to the cancer cells.