IN FO­CUS: LOXO ON­COL­OGY ‘ ON THE FRONT LINE IN THE WAR ON CAN­CER’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - INVESTING -

This com­pany is fo­cus­ing on spe­cific mu­ta­tions in cer­tain types of can­cers.

It’s a niche strat­egy. In­stead of fo­cus­ing on in­di­vid­ual can­cers, pan­cre­atic can­cer for ex­am­ple, they look for a spe­cific mu­ta­tion that’s driv­ing the growth of tu­mours, and they could be in any lo­ca­tion: brain, pan­creas, lung. Tu­mours are all, the­o­ret­i­cally, very sim­i­lar in terms of what’s driv­ing their ex­pan­sion.

Loxo has just had a drug ap­proved and they have a sig­nif­i­cant part­ner­ship with Ger­man pharma gi­ant Bayer on that lead pro­gramme. But they also have an­other pro­gramme which is pro­duc­ing some ex­cit­ing data, and a third in devel­op­ment.

The ex­cit­ing thing is they are treat­ing pa­tients with solid tu­mours and se­ri­ous dis­ease and the pa­tients are go­ing on to these drugs and liv­ing for years.

His­tor­i­cally we used to think of can­cer as a very acute thing, a pa­tient got di­ag­nosed and es­sen­tially had a very short time to live.

Here, pa­tients can go on this drug if they have the rel­e­vant mu­ta­tion and can stay on it for years. That’s very pos­i­tive for the com­pany’s rev­enue streams. mean that you miss the wood for the trees.

The most im­por­tant at­tribute is ex­pe­ri­ence in fund man­age­ment and the health­care sec­tor. Un­der­stand­ing the sci­ence def­i­nitely helps you know the right ques­tions to ask when you speak to the ex­perts.

The neg­a­tive side of it is that you can get pulled in by a drug you think is go­ing to be enor­mous, but the next day the Fed­eral Re­serve cuts rates and that stock will go down.

Do you have your own money in the fund?

I do, but I’m not a big be­liever in that con­ven­tional wis­dom to be hon­est. I’m of the view that it’s ac­tu­ally bet­ter to have sole fo­cus on your clients’ money. Hav­ing money in the fund doesn’t change how you think about man­ag­ing it.

What would you be if you weren’t a fund man­ager?

I would have loved to have played county cricket. Note: the fund is cur­rently closed to new in­vestors. You can buy shares in a trust run by the team. Ticker: PCGH

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