Even a year ago, who would have thought that Genomics and the manipulation of genetic material could deliver such meaningful impact? Then came the Covid pandemic and the astonishingly fast and effective development of mRNA vaccines. What would have taken decades has instead delivered results in less than 10 months. Technology is being used for gene editing, testing, and many other applications. Scientists now believe that Genomics, the study of genes, has the potential to revolutionize healthcare.
In this podcast, our moderator and former BBC World News presenter Nisha Pillai talks to Julius Baer’s experts Dr. Damien Ng and Esteban Polidura about this Genomics revolution unfolding before our eyes.
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“We are going to see a revolution in the healthcare system,” says Dr. Damien Ng, Julius Baer’s Next Generation Research Analyst, during this conversation. There are many ‘ifs’ still according to his views: will the Covid-19 vaccines show clinical efficacy, will they cause side effects to the recipients, or will the mRNA technology be used in biotech companies or on inactivated viruses used by the Chinese and Indian biotech companies? “The fact is that the world is witnessing a remarkable scientific breakthrough,” says Dr. Ng.
More than 173 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered across 77 countries thus setting the stage to inoculate a global population of some 7.8 billion people. “This is just one of the myriad uses of genomics, a branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes (an organism’s complete set of DNA),” comments Esteban Polidura, Julius Baer’s Head of Americas Advisory & Products. “Two key segments are differentiating from an investments point of view and according to Julius Baer’s Next Generation Research team: genetic testing and gene modification,” he adds.