Biotechnology expert Brad Loncar is the CEO of Loncar Investments. He is a pioneer within the biotech investment space and an index provider for two NASDAQ listed biotech ETFs — the Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF and the China BioPharma ETF.
Loncar has a wealth of investing experience, having begun his career at Franklin Templeton as part of their management trading program. He also has a wealth of experience of US politics, having been appointed Senior Advisor at the US Treasury Department in between an investment directorship in the Bush/Cheney administration, and after a short tenure as director of administration for John McCain.
Listen to the interview:
Loncar regularly provides his expert view on his loncarblog.com, for Nadaq.com and for Endpoints News, a publication focussing on the biopharma and biotech space. It was this that Loncar explored when he recently joined Opto Sessions, and in particular, why the biotech is in such an exciting phase.
“I can't really predict future performance. No one has a crystal ball,” Loncar tells Opto Sessions. But what he does know is that biotech “went mainstream last year”.
For a long time, Loncar says, biotech has been a niche within the investment world. It has been overshadowed by its much larger tech sector cousin.
“One thing I have always been frustrated by as a biotech investor is that with tech, you can see a Tesla driving down the street, or you can use Zoom, or a new social media app, and so everyone understands it and feels like they want to invest in it."
“One thing I have always been frustrated by as a biotech investor is that with tech, you can see a Tesla driving down the street, or you can use Zoom, or a new social media app, and so everyone understands it and feels like they want to invest in it”
Biotech is different though, Loncar explains. The technical nature of it deters many. “You don't normally see these advances and it's really frustrating, because there's so many game-changing things happening in medicine today — it's just so exciting,” Loncar says.
“One silver lining of the tragic year that we had last year is that, first of all, I think that the average person out there for the first time — maybe ever for a lot of people — really understand how integral our sector is to the normal functioning of society,” Loncar considers.
Another positive to come out of the tragedy, he says, was the speed at which company’s like Moderna [MRNA] and Pfizer [FE] were able to develop mRNA vaccines, which previously might have taken five years to develop.
“There are different things that are game-changers in medicine that in many cases, like mRNA, might be platforms,” he says.
“I don't know what the performance is going to be, nobody does. But what I would say is, I think that people have woken up to the fact that this is an industry of the future”
“Biotech, not from a stock market perspective but just from a pandemic perspective, was literally on the front page of every news site for an entire year — and still is,” Loncar notes.
This has led to many more people becoming aware of biotech’s role of biotech in society and highlighted the advances within the space.
“I don't know what the performance is going to be, nobody does. But what I would say is, I think that people have woken up to the fact that this is an industry of the future,” Loncar states.
To hear more from Loncar on the future of biotech and biopharma, and to hear about his specialised ETFs which cover this space listen to the full episode on Opto Sessions.