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The Rapid Rise and Fall of Biotech Stocks Adversely Impacts the Society

Recently, President Biden announced an ambitious goal to reduce cancer death rate by at least 50 percent and to improve the experience of living with and surviving cancer. Why has the society not made faster progress on cancer front? Why do discoveries in biotechnology sector occur in fits and spurts? We claim that this slow and sporadic progress has a lot to do with the vagaries of capital markets. Let’s begin with a success story. There is little doubt that BioNTech (Pfizer), Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines had a profound impact on the developed world’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Without them, countless more lives and trillions of dollars of economic value would have been further lost. The stock prices of these companies reached dramatic peaks after the world learned about their success. However, as of this week, they have already shed 50% of their peak market values, while we are still in the midst of the pandemic. This rapid rise and fall of these biotechnology stocks is not just about the Covid-vaccine stocks but also about the fortunes of the biotechnology sector as a whole. We describe this roller-coaster phenomenon in this post and claim that this phenomenon is not healthy for the society, particularly given the aging population and increasing need for new healthcare solutions. Read the rest of the post on California Management Review.