News & Media
The Journal of Financial Planning recently sat down with Lo to learn more about this shift in mindset from the market as a physical system to a biological one, as well as his thoughts on adaptive markets, the economic outlook for 2016, and even curing cancer.MORE HERE >
Presented by Dr. Vikas P. Sukhatme on December 8, 2015 at MIT in Cambridge, MA.
Lung cancer is sometimes diagnosed in its early stages yet despite surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, these tumors often recur systemically and lead to death. Retrospective data show that a pre-operative single dose of an existing therapeutic used off-label tended to increase metastasis-free survival over 10 years by about 15%. If proven, this simple, inexpensive, and non-toxic intervention could save the lives of nearly 5,000 lung cancer patients and half a billion dollars in healthcare costs annually in the US alone. However, with today’s drug development model it will never be adopted as standard of care—with little to gain financially, pharmaceutical companies have little interest in sponsoring the prospective trial necessary to validate the data. GlobalCures, a non-profit medical research organization, exists to fill this gap and its model will be presented.VIEW HERE >
Traditional models for funding drug development are faltering. In the US and many other developed countries, the average cost of bringing a new drug to market has skyrocketed, even as patents on some of the industry’s most profitable drugs have expired. Venture capital has pulled back from early-stage life-sciences companies, and big pharmaceutical companies have seen fewer drugs reach the market per dollar spent on research and development.
Spurred by these pressures, finance experts have proposed several funding alternatives that reduce the risk of biopharma investments while improving the efficiency and productivity of the R&D pipeline. Although industry incumbents may be slow to shift gears, developing countries creating next-generation biopharma hubs have a unique opportunity to adopt and benefit from alternative models.MORE HERE >
We are making breakthroughs almost weekly in our understanding of cancer and other deadly diseases, both in how to treat and – in some cases – how to cure them. So why is funding for early stage biomedical research and development declining just when we need it most? One answer is that the financial risk of drug development has increased, and investors don’t like risk. What if we could reduce the risk and increase the reward through financial engineering? By applying tools like portfolio theory, securitization, and derivative securities to construct “megafunds” that invest in many biomedical projects, we can tap into the power of global financial markets to raise billions of dollars. If structured properly, investors can earn attractive returns with tolerable levels of risk, and many more patients can get the drugs they desperately need. Finance doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game; we can do well by doing good if we have sufficient scale.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.VIEW HERE >
On October 9, 2015, Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (FL-17) and Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced the Rare Disease (RaD) Fund Act of 2015 (H.R. 3731). The legislation would allow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a privately owned and operated investment fund for rare diseases therapeutics. The Fund would invest in and develop early-stage (prior to the third stage of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process) rare disease therapeutics. The NIH would serve in an advisory capacity and would also have the authorization to provide technical services and sell intellectual property to the RaD Fund in exchange for an equity stake in the company.MORE HERE >
The Consortium for Systemic Risk Analytics (CSRA), a not-for-profit Delaware Corporation, and the MIT Sloan School of Management announced today that it will become part of a joint collaboration among three MIT research centers—the Laboratory for Financial Engineering (LFE), the Center for Finance and Policy (CFP), and the newly launched Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS)—to continue its mission to foster interdisciplinary research in the measurement of systemic risk in the financial system.MORE HERE >
Central banks and financial regulators around the world continue to seek better tools to help them monitor and measure system-wide risks that have the potential to trigger financial crises with macroeconomic consequences. To help meet this need, the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago has been awarded grants totaling $1.5 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the CME Group Foundation to expand its efforts to generate better quantitative models for assessing the economy’s vulnerabilities to disruptions from financial markets. The grants support the institute’s Macro Financial Modeling (MFM) Initiative. Formed in 2012, this project brings together a group of top scholars to develop and evaluate macroeconomic models that better account for financial sector influences on the aggregate economy. A new generation of quantitative models will enhance our understanding of these linkages. Lars Peter Hansen, director of the institute, and Andrew Lo, director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, lead the project.MORE HERE >
The Investment Management Consultants Association announced that it is introducing a new online behavioral finance program. The program is designed to help advisors address common financial decisions that trip up investors.MORE HERE >
Scientists at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and financial economists at the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering published a new paper in Science Translational Medicine that demonstrates the potential of a new financing technique to reduce the risk associated with investing in the treatment of new diseases and potentially unlock new levels of funding for developing so-called “orphan” drugs.MORE HERE >