Dr Bianca Ogden | Platinum Health
“I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” - Steve Jobs. That quote came from an article written by today's guest Dr Bianca Ogden, virologist and fund manager of the Platinum International Health Care Fund.
Bianca embarked on a career change in 2003 and joined Platinum as an investment analyst. Her rich knowledge base in molecular biology and first-hand insights into the pharmaceutical and biotech industry give her a unique ability to delve deeply into the fundamentals of healthcare companies and identify those with a solid foundation in scientific research.
Bianca has been the portfolio manager of the Platinum International Health Care Fund since 2007 and leads the healthcare sector team. Prior to joining Platinum, Bianca worked at Swiss pharmaceuticals company, Novartis, researching new HIV drugs. Bianca went on to complete a PhD at UCL, investigating Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. She then joined Johnson & Johnson in Australia as a molecular biologist, researching new drug targets in oncology.
"We understand diseases better and much more in detail. So when you look at lung cancer, it's now defined by many different mutations. And so you'll now first of all, look at profile the tumor and then say, well, the patient has this mutation. So it needs this particular drug. If it has another mutation, it needs another drug. So all of this is happening. Diagnostic is getting better. And again, when you then overlay that the data that's being generated and then the machine learning on top of that, we're really in for some really, I think, precise precision medicine in the next decade"
Here's an article from Bianca about how COVID-19 has placed the healthcare sector front and centre in all our minds. The development of a vaccine in record time was truly remarkable, showing what can be achieved when great minds and innovative technology come together. Once the 'poor cousin', the biotech sector is coming into its own and is now at a key inflection point. Record funding and the entry of a 'new breed' of players, thanks to the wonders of AI and computer power, is driving considerable transformation, especially in drug discovery.
"One of the key things is interact with companies, interact with the industry, interact with the people that actually doing the work rather than just stare at a computer. That's, to me what I love the most. We go to the lab, we meet the scientists, we meet the people that do the work. And what helps me is to engage with them and understand them. And the other part is you should never be afraid of thinking about what would happen if that actually works, because sometimes that clouds you because you're so worried of making a mistake, but in this industry, you will always make mistakes. "
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