AACR Annual Meeting 2021: What’s the Frontier of Cancer Research?
April 8, 2021 – By Samantha Bailey
Whether we’ve fought our battles or helped family or friends with their own, cancer has likely impacted all of us. Malignancies are the leading cause of death among individuals under the age of 85 and are responsible for 9.5 million deaths globally each year, including an estimated 600,000 in the United States.
But there are many reasons for optimism. Our deepening understanding of biology and the genetic root causes of disease are leading to better, earlier, and safer treatment options. The burgeoning field of liquid biopsies and other next-generation diagnostics allow us to detect cancers earlier and monitor recurrence in survivors, which promises to greatly improve survival rates. New therapeutic modalities ranging from genetic medicines to cell therapies to bispecific antibodies create opportunities for personalized treatments that are highly effective.
It can be difficult for investors to keep track of the rapidly advancing scientific frontier, but there won’t be an excuse this week. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021 is being held virtually from April 10 through April 15.
As a scientific meeting, many companies will be presenting updates on key preclinical and clinical assets — for the first time publicly, in some cases — with a bias towards earlier-stage assets. Scientists across academic institutions, non-profit research centers, and industry will also gather to discuss challenges and opportunities for specific technologies ranging from the use of natural killer (NK) cells in cancer treatment, choosing biomarkers for liquid biopsy diagnostics, the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in drug discovery and disease monitoring, and many more.
Given the focus on early-stage assets, investors might not expect too many market-moving announcements. However, AACR will be a great time to check in on your investment thesis for a specific company or technology, get a better glimpse of the competitive landscape, and put new technologies on your radar for the next few years. For example, investors who kept pace with similar scientific meetings in recent years would have seen the massive market opportunities for liquid biopsies and potentially made life-changing investments in the pioneers.
Topics discussed in this episode include next-generation diagnostics for tracking minimal residual disease (MRD), next-generation bispecific antibodies, and precision oncology. To view the full program, abstracts, and more, please visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2021 website.
Publicly-traded companies mentioned in this podcast include Adaptive Biotechnologies, Agenus, Eli Lilly, Exact Sciences, Guardant Health, Illumina (via proposed acquisition of Grail), Invitae, Merus, NeoGenomics, and Xencor.
7investing Lead Advisors may have positions in the companies that are mentioned.
This interview was originally recorded on April 5th, 2021 and was first published on April 8th, 2021.
00:00 – Introduction to the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting
02:55 – Will There be any Big Announcements at This Years’ AACR?
06:45 – What Investors Should Watch For
14:55 – Companies that are Detecting Cancer at Earlier Stages
20:12 – Highlights Maxx is Watching For
27:38 – Is the Meeting a Buy and Sell Event for Investors?
Dan Kline 0:04
Welcome to the 7investing Podcast. I am Dan Kline, I think this might be my first time actually hosting the 7investing Podcast. I am joined today by Maxx Chatsko. We just taped 7investing Now and now we are jumping back on. We’re going to talk about the American Association for Cancer Research – an organization I have known existed for a couple of hours, maybe that is the AACR. They’re having their annual meeting. Maxx, I’m going to assume this is a group that’s against cancer. They’re trying to end cancer. They’re not trying to advance it. But that is how little I know – you are the subject matter on this one.
Maxx Chatsko 0:38
Yeah, so the AACR is an annual meeting. It’s a scientific meeting. And this year, it’s being held virtually, of course, but it starts this Saturday, April 10. And it runs through next Thursday, which is April 15.
Dan Kline 0:53
So in a normal year, what is this meeting look like? These virtual conferences, we’ll get to that the second, are a little bit weird, but what does it look like in a normal year?
Maxx Chatsko 1:02
Yeah, so normally, you know, this is a great place for cross pollination of ideas. And for this specifically, it’s very heavy into the science. So it’s where, you know, academic researchers, maybe there’s some major medical research centers, definitely companies in the industry are there. They’re presenting their data on kind of the frontiers of science, right? So we face these challenges when we’re trying to develop new cancer treatments. Everybody gets together in a room and discusses what they’ve learned, their ideas for engineering ways around those obstacles, and what looks the most promising – what do we think was promising a few years ago that maybe we’re abandoning or moving in some new direction. So it’s really important for looking at the frontier of what’s going on in research.
Dan Kline 1:43
So what’s the goal of presenting it? Because I know if I’m a company, and I’m working on, you know, a cancer care, I’m not entirely sure. I want to tell another company exactly what I’m doing. So how do they balance sort of the the science, and obviously collaboration can help, but there there is an underlying business here as well. So how does that play out in this type of setting?
Maxx Chatsko 2:03
Yes, that’s a good question. A lot of this, though, is, once you’re presenting at these conferences, you know, you already have the asset, and the intellectual property around it pretty well protected. You know, so if you’re presenting research, that’s your asset, that’s your chemical compound, or your cell therapy now, you know, and you’re advancing that into, you know, preclinical studies and clinical trials. So at that point, you know, there’s certain things you can do to design trials that get you better data or data more quickly, whether that’s enrolling the right patient populations, right? But once you’re here, it’s kind of the science takes over, you know, so did you do your drug design and discovery correctly? And then just kind of how does it compare to your peers and your competitors and what’s going on.
Dan Kline 2:47
Is this a conference you’ve physically attended? Or have you only covered it remotely?
Maxx Chatsko 2:51
I’ve never been to this scientific meeting so I’ve only ever covered this remotely.
Dan Kline 2:55
Do you expect big announcements to come out of it? It seems like every time there’s one of these giant medical conventions, that we do seem to see, like, major advances in sometimes theoretical work, like it’s not, I don’t expect, like the cure for cancer on day two of this. But you might see somebody come out and say, you know, we have something that can make this 8% more effective, or a new delivery method, or what it is, do you expect there to be big news in this weird virtual version of a conference?
Maxx Chatsko 3:22
Yeah, so that’s true too, like the virtual conference thing, it is a lot different than, you know, being in the same room as scientists together, you know, there’s a lot more collaboration that goes on maybe even more partnerships if you’re a company or even working with a research institution. So the virtual aspect does take a big bite out of it, in terms of what announcements could be made, you know, this isn’t the JPMorgan healthcare conference, this isn’t ASH, those are two of the bigger conferences in healthcare technologies. This is more focused on earlier stage research, but it’s also again, the first look at some of these new technology platforms or new pipelines or new companies. So depending on what they present, you know, and if the market likes that, and especially, it’s all relative, so how does it compare to what other peers are doing? You know, we could see some pretty big movements next week in the stock market, at least in terms of okay, maybe this is a little less risky than we thought it was before. But mostly this is about you know, earlier stage research and asking more questions, and then presenting data.
Dan Kline 4:25
We’re going to talk the investing angle in a little bit, but I want to set the table a little bit here because obviously cancer has touched probably everybody you know, you know, I have a cousin who is recovering from breast cancer. I have a cousin actively battling leukemia right now – he’s well maintained but if something he’ll deal with his whole life unless science advances to the point where he doesn’t have to, how big is this market because it does seem like there’s an awful lot of money being thrown at the problem, which is a great thing when none of us want to get cancer. None of us want to go through a relative with cancer friend even.
Maxx Chatsko 4:59
Yeah, so every year, there’s nine and a half million deaths globally from cancer, I actually saw a stat it was maybe 3% of individuals aged 50 and older have any type of cancer. So obviously, it’s very prevalent, you know, and that fatality statistics include 600,000 deaths, just in the United States. So, but, you know, we’ve seen a lot of promise and a lot of advances here in recent years, you know, we have a deeper understanding of biology. You know, we have better tools now for looking at the genetics of it, genomics, different other “omics”. So, we are designing and developing better tools, more selective tools. So we are gradually seeing, you know, improvements in, you know, survival rates and treatment rates. And sometimes, you know, in very specific instances, we are seeing, you know, complete responses. So that’s kind of what we call cures, but scientists don’t like to call it that. So, you know, the future is always promising Dan.
Dan Kline 5:57
I have an uncle that, I won’t go into specific cancer, but he, you know, was basically given a “get your affairs in order” and ended up in a drug trial and has been – not cured, because it’s still there – but, you know, has the prospect of a significantly longer life, if not, the prospect of that not being what kills him. So, you know, that is very encouraging. Let’s talk a little bit about this for investors, because, so theoretically, on Monday, company X could come out and say here’s our developmental pipeline, here’s what we’ve tested, it works this well, and everyone’s really excited and the stock goes up. But then on Wednesday, somebody else could present better data, right? So as investors, we have to be a little bit cautious on making moves during the convention. Is that fair to say?
Maxx Chatsko 6:45
Yeah, exactly. And so yeah, data will be relative compared to peers, and what else is out there, maybe even academic research, right, could pull everybody in a different direction? You know, and also, because of the early stage nature of the data that are going to be presented, if this does have a large move, or a large, you know, factor impact on stocks, maybe that’s a bit of an overreaction, right? Because a lot of this is going to be preclinical research, or very early clinical stage research. So there’s still years of development ahead. Still things can go wrong. But I would encourage investors to use this as a way to maybe, you know, test your hypotheses. Is this technology platform – is it delivering at least at this stage of its development? Does it look promising? It doesn’t mean, game over, you made it, winner winner chicken dinner, but you know, it can be a good, you know, indication that maybe, yes, this company’s on the right track, and it’s worth a closer look.
Dan Kline 7:46
I’ve never understood that phrase, if I win something, I want steak or lobster – I don’t want chicken. Like ugh, I know it rhymes. But that one has never worked for me. So as an investor, this is more of like a touch point where you get sort of an update on where your investments are. It’s not an endpoint, is that sort of a reasonable way to look at it? And really, this might be an entry point, it might be a, you know, a sign that something you invested in, may play out. We’re still talking years for most of these companies.
Maxx Chatsko 8:19
Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly right.
Dan Kline 8:22
So, I own a lot of these companies, because I buy your picks every month. What should I be watching as an investor and there are parts of this – the cool thing about virtual conferences is well, plenty of it happens behind the paywall. There also tends to be more public stuff than there is at a physical conference. So what should I be watching as an investor in some of these companies?
Maxx Chatsko 8:44
Yeah, so I’ll put in the show notes orin the article at 7investing.com – I’ll put a link to this meeting’s, you know, webpage, and you can check out all the programs there. There’s a lot of different themes. Again, some of it’s just the scientific research. But there’s a handful of major themes that I would encourage investors to look at. So three of them that we’re going to talk about here would be genetic diagnostics – seems to be a pretty big theme of this conference and also, of course, in cancer. Next generation antibody drugs – you know, there’s a lot of excitement around cell therapies and that’s also a major theme of this conference, but there’s some really promising next generation antibodies that are in development and you know, they’re easier to manufacture, they’re easier to to administer. So I wouldn’t necessarily right off antibody drugs, they’re not antiquated technology, by any means. Still a lot of innovation happening there. And the third category would be precision oncology, which is one of those terms that gets kind of used by everyone, it means nothing, but if you know where to look at the right companies, a lot of really good and innovative research going on there as well.
So specifically, in genetic diagnostics, I think the near term opportunity for investors is something called minimal residual disease – MRD. So this is for detecting – you know we take a blood draw at your doctor’s office, and we can look at the blood and see, you know, do you have different biomarkers, showing that you have a tumor present in your body? And we can give you this multiple times to see – is a treatment working? You know, is your tumor shrinking? Or maybe if he’s seen no evidence of disease? This is what you get every six months to see has your cancer recurred? Is it coming back? Or is the treatment been effective, and you’re still have no evidence of disease. So again, with better tools, and better detection diagnostics, we are getting, you know, better at using this. And this is way simpler than imaging, or obviously a biopsy or something, right? So it can give us a really good indication to guide treatment for individuals. So, in this case, this is more early-stage research. You know, we hear a lot about genomics, right? It’s the genomic revolution, this, that, and the other thing, but the reality is, it’s probably more accurate to say that the future is “multi-omics”. So genomics is the study of genes. But then there’s transcriptomics, which is the study of RNA, there’s proteomics, study of proteins, metabolomics, the study of metabolites Dan, that’s probably something for your your wearables idea for how that’s going to change, if we can, you know, pick up metabolites, with an Apple Watch or something, right, that would probably be a metabolomics application. So maybe we can have that coming to a wrist near you very soon.
Dan Kline 11:59
So let me jump in Maxx, is all of this together, all of these “omics”, theoretically, with just a simple blood draw, going to give us a better picture of our health, meaning that you might catch things much earlier due to biomarkers, and that generally increases survivability, right? Like, if you figure out you have a cancer on day one instead of six months in? That’s really good, right?
And this is a major reason why Maxx never wears a shirt anywhere in public. He wants everyone – no, it is a real call that that if you’re not going to the doctor, you should be having someone check you out. Because a lot of people – their annual physical this year was over telemedicine, meaning you’re going and doing your bloodwork at the lab, you know, but you’re not getting the doctor giving you the visual once over, which is something they normally do. So you can’t look at your own back that is really tricky to do. So you do want a partner or a good friend or you know, not a stranger, to generally, you know, check you for these things. But, so are we getting to the world where Maxx, do you believe we’re going to make big advances? And obviously, this isn’t the conference where you’ll see the big advances. But are you starting to see the foundation being laid for earlier detection and better treatment across all sorts of types of cancers? I know I’m digressing here. So don’t take too long on this one.
Maxx Chatsko 14:55
No, yeah, absolutely you’re right. You know, so there’s a couple companies that are working on, you know, next generation liquid biopsy platform. So liquid biopsy started with an easier, quote, easier problem. It’s all relative, of course. So can they detect biomarkers in your blood, as well as a tissue biopsy? So they got to that point, we have those diagnostics, some of those are actually approved on the market right now. And now they’re working on the more difficult problems – how early can we actually detect these cancers? So those earlier detection diagnostics might not be here until the end of this decade. And that’s because the signal in your blood is very, very low. If you have an earlier stage cancer, there’s not a lot of biomarkers that we can detect necessarily, or we will have to use probably multiple types of biomarkers in order to get an accurate assessment. But yeah, different companies – and I don’t think as far as I’ve seen, these aren’t presenting at this conference, but I think some of the discussions and some of the research and some of the, you know, discussions that are happening here will influence these companies. And, again, give you an indication of who’s making the right investments, whether that’s in-house for acquisitions, or where might they need to go and acquire to build out infrastructure, you know, to kind of position themselves for the future. So these companies are, you know, Exact Sciences, Guardan Health, GRAIL, you know, so those are the major liquid biopsy companies, but there’s also other companies like Adaptive Biotechnologies, it’s working on a slightly different technology platform, uses T cells, but it’s basically on the same idea, and maybe even broader than what those other companies are. Nio Genomics, Invitae – a lot of different companies here trying to look at, you know, detecting cancers from the blood, whether that’s minimal residual disease, or early stage liquid biopsies, or other tools – so definitely promising, definitely a space with heavy investment Dan, so this is something that is the conference’s key themes, I think, for investors here to look at.
Dan Kline 16:49
I pity the fool who researches T cells of course, which I assume are cells taken from Mr. T but yeah, he could clearly kick cancer’s ass – I think he did. I actually think Mr. T had cancer and has since recovered. I’m being a little silly here but I am so encouraged by all of this as I talked about this, you know, I’m 47 – I’m at the age where things start to fall apart. So I love the idea that there’s going to be easier detection, there’s going to be all sorts of medical help and that you know, he helps those who help themselves so you want to take care of yourself you know, you want to stay in shape, you want to do the right thing. You want to do as much as you can. You don’t want to go like lay out in the sun. You know, I’ve been been pretty diligent with sunblock and things like that because I live in the center of the Sunland. But that said, Maxx you have here – the second topic on here is that Next-Generation Antibody Bispecifics. Other than that sounds like a Marvel team up. I don’t know what that is what our next generation antibody biospecifics.
Maxx Chatsko 17:48
So it’s Bispecifics. There’s no “o”, right? That’s alright. So your Next-Generation Antibodies, you know, again, so genetic tests can tell us, hey, maybe you have cancer or guide treatment options. But we have to guide those treatment options to guide people to the treatment, right? So a lot of drugs in development are targeting a very specific aspect of a cancer. So most drugs in development are targeting a specific mutation. And there’s a lot to choose from, lots of funny names. Usually, they have three or four capital letters, which is the name of the gene. And that’s what they’re trying to inhibit or target, right. So if investors are looking at pipelines, or press releases, or presentations, they’re gonna see they’re probably familiar with some of this terminology. Next-Generation Antibodies are very interesting to me, I think this space is also heating up. So an antibody, Dan is shaped kind of like the letter Y, like an uppercase Y. So it has these three arms on it, right. And, you know, traditionally, antibody drugs are some of the, you know, most successful drugs in the world, I think, like 5 of the top 10 best drug sellers, globally by revenue, are antibodies – might even be more than 5. So you know, 10s of billions of dollars in annual revenue. But there’s this next generation technology which is called Bispecific. So in a traditional antibody drug, the ones that are on the market now, they link up to one receptor, whether that’s on an immune cell or on, you know, somewhere in an inflammation pathway or on a cancerous tumor right? So they link up to one of those targets, a Bispecific, as its name implies, is engineered to actually target two different things at the same time. So maybe you can link up to an immune cell, and you know, some part of a cancer cell – maybe even so it affects more of the underlying biology. It can affect how your immune system responds, or rallies to that specific mutation. So these are kind of like the next evolution of our understanding of antibodies. So they can allow for, you know, more potent drugs, maybe we need a lower dose to get the same response. Much safer drugs because there tend to be more targeted, and much better long term prognoses in terms of mutations, cancer can’t mutate off the pathway as easily when we’re targeting multiple aspects of it.
Dan Kline 20:12
Maxx there’s a number of companies presenting on this, what are some of the highlights you’re going to be watching for?
Maxx Chatsko 20:17
Yeah, so there’s not too many different companies in Bispecifics right now. Most of the technology in terms of intellectual property is wrapped up by two companies, in particular, so Zen Core is kind of the leader. And then there’s this European company called Maris, which owns most of the other IP related to this and might even have better technology depending on how you read it, they actually have something called tri-specific antibodies, Dan. So that’s targeting three different receptors.
yeah, scientists aren’t terribly, you know, imaginative when they’re naming things. But like, bias does is try specific. Yeah, same thing. Suzanne course presenting data for, for preclinical assets. And it actually has a couple of different drugs on the market through partners right now. So it has an interesting business model. So far, it’s focused mostly on licensing. So that can be a little difficult to navigate as a shareholder, you know, companies can often out license too much of their future economic potential that does de risk development. But they also had some interesting problems and setbacks. Within recent years of some of their first generation tech didn’t work out so well, it was abandoned by partners. So so they got let go. But so looking at some of these early preclinical assets, some of the next generation tech they’re working on will be interesting for investors. And then for Maris, that’s, again, one of the companies kind of under the radar, it’s still pretty small. But very recently, they just signed this big partnership with Eli Lilly, up to $1.6 billion, depending on you know, how it progresses for up to three different buyer specific drug candidates. And that company is presenting data for two different assets. Its lead drug candidate called xeno. That stands for some other longer name of an antibody drug, but I can’t pronounce it, neither can you. So what is called xeno. For now, that’s what the company calls it, I like it. It’s targeting something called NRG. One fusion. So that’s a relatively small mutation. It’s not very prevalent, that means in a lot of different cancers, tumors, but we do know that targeting fusions can be highly effective. And this is exactly the application that biospecifics were made for. So if that presents, you know, they present more data that are promising and live up to some of the earlier data we’ve seen, that could really put Maris on the map, or maybe even you know, give more credence to why Eli Lilly sought it out in the first place. And then lastly, Maxx, you’ve got algenist. Am I saying that correctly?
Maxx Chatsko 22:59
I think it’s a Janice, but I don’t know, I never know how to pronounce some of these companies. We’ve had members correct me i’m pronouncing
Dan Kline 23:04
this sounds a lot more likely. imaginisce is probably the case. But I,
Maxx Chatsko 23:11
I cover most of these for a long time. So I know I’d say most of them. But I still do look at YouTube. Everyone saw like, Am I saying this correctly? Yeah. So yeah, Janice is also presenting data. It’s the data, it’s presenting for something called an FC engineered antibody. So it’s not quite a bi specific, but actually, so the FC stands for crystallizable fragment, I don’t know why they switched the letters there. That’s just how biologists are. So this is actually part of biospecifics, as well. So we can engineer parts of that, why, if we go back to the shape of an antibody, to make it, you know, more potent, have a higher circulating time within the body or be more targeted and safer. So this data that the company is presenting for its FC engineered antibody is going to be important for indicating you know what direction it’s going with because it does have a bias specific pipeline, it’s earlier in development. So if those data are encouraging for this asset presented at ACR, then it might be good news for you know that earlier by a specific platform in development at a jenis
Dan Kline 24:19
you were listening to the 7investing podcast, I am Dan Kline, he is Maxx Chatsko. We are talking about the American Association for cancer research, which is having its annual meeting virtually next week at Maxx, we’re gonna tie this all up for investors at the end. But before we do that precision oncology Now, those words both mean something to me. But where are we in that? And what do we expect to see at ACR?
Maxx Chatsko 24:44
So as a teaser at the top, this is one of those terms that I hate, like everybody uses precision medicine, precision oncology, genomic synthetic biology, like everybody uses it, and then it just means nothing what it was intended to mean that everybody has our own definition. So precision on ecology though is about precision medicine in general, it’s about designing more selective drugs. So this has to do this is very heavy into technology platforms. So really, you know, these companies in this space are developing tech platforms that really try to understand the genetics of a cancer. So they’re trying to find specific mutations within a tumor that they can target. But then in order to target it, they have to screen 1000s and 1000s of different molecules to find something that’s very selective, it’s not going to go and accidentally, you know, target similar looking proteins or mutations. So that’s the where the precision part comes in. And companies have various ways of doing this. And several of the leaders are actually presenting at this conference here. So loxo oncology, you have to start there. This is actually an Eli Lilly company. And it was the subsidiary that partnered with Maris that we just talked about in the last section. So anytime loxo oncology comes knocking on your door for a partnership, it’s probably a pretty good sign for investors in terms of what that company might be capable of. So loxo oncology was a standalone Company A few years ago, was acquired by Eli Lilly for about $8 billion. And this is a leader in precision oncology just has a really good technology platform for screening out drug compounds and selecting really good genetic targets. So the company is presenting data on a well now it’s Eli Lilly presenting for multiple different assets. But it is something called it’s ru T, it’s ret inhibitor, that’s really what put on the map and how to get acquired in the first place. But it has a couple of next generation ret inhibitors as well, again, targeting like more specific mutation. So maybe patients who’ve been treated with their first drug develop resistance, well, then they can come back and hit it with a second generation drug and a third generation drug to really extend you know, response times or durations and help more patients really put their cancers into remission. So a very rational way of going about it. This company is also targeting something called a crass inhibitor, or I’m sorry, a crass mutation. And that’s something that this is the most prevalent mutation in cancer tumors, Dan. So about 22% of solid tumor cancers have a crass mutation. And currently, there are no approved drugs on the market for it, it’s been a very difficult mutation to target. And there’s a lot of activity and investment going on, you know, trying to develop drugs for this. So people will see this term a time and time again, if you’re an investor, definitely one to keep an eye on in terms of, you know, how does the competitive landscape look and who’s kind of well positioned to treat this mutation?
Dan Kline 27:38
So Maxx, let’s bring this home a little bit for investors, if you hold shares of this, these companies,are you expecting you know, this? These aren’t buy and sell events? Right? Like, if there was terrible news that would have come out beforehand, you’re generally presenting things that worked would be my assumption, probably not your failures?
Maxx Chatsko 27:58
Yeah, exactly. So that’s important to say at the top right. You know, if I mentioned these companies, it’s not because I think, you know, buy, buy, buy, these are just ways to keep track of trends, and to look at the competitive landscapes within these themes, you know, doesn’t necessarily mean any, by any of them. But yeah, and this isn’t really a big event for like, you know, we’re not going to see any company say, yeah, we’ve cured that cancer with that one mutation, we might get some really good data, and we might get some mixed data. And that’s going to influence this, that these companies may, you know, developing their pipeline down the road. But yeah, this is more of a way to, again, check your thesis, make sure you’re on the right track, in terms of if you’re interested in these companies, maybe they’re more de risked than the market, is pricing them out? Or maybe they’re overvalued, based on what the data say. So there’s lots of different ways to go. But this is, this is really to check, you know, kind of like take the temperature of the room, right? What are the challenges and opportunities? And what do these data mean, when these companies present? Where does it fit in?
Dan Kline 28:59
And Maxx? Are the bigger players in the in this space, or in healthcare in general watching this? And, like, Is it like a Sundance Film Festival where acquisitions may come out of this or partnerships?
Maxx Chatsko 29:10
Yeah, so that’s the thing like usually when these are in person, lots of collaborations, licensing deals come out of these, these conferences and these meetings, you know, because just face to face, you can’t beat that. So we could still see that with the virtual conferences. We have seen that, you know, with like jpm or ash earlier this year, or during the pandemic anyway. You know, so that’s something that you can’t write off, but it’s it’s so much harder to do when you’re virtual, and, you know,
Dan Kline 29:39
it is the challenge and I go to a lot of trade shows, I probably go to somewhere between six and 10 a year. And the keynotes are nice, the presentations are nice. The show floor is great. You might get an announcement that’s newsworthy and good to write about. But the reality is, most of the business takes place over drinks or coffee or a meal. Or, or at a company event. It’s the two people getting together and talking that leads to people jumping companies, that leads to deals being made, that’s not happening. So I give all of these conferences, credit for having these virtual things. But I would say, for the most part, other than than Consumer Electronics Show, which I paid attention to sort of the news summaries, most of the conferences that I go to, I actually haven’t paid that much attention other than scanning for news, because most of what I do at a convention, I think this is true in most industries, it’s not what the official programming is, it really is the, you’re loose, you’re relaxed. In my case, they’re almost always in Vegas. You know, everyone is having together. And that’s where collaboration, that’s where ideas come from a little bit harder to do that. I mean, we’ve had our zoom happy hours as a company, and they’re fun. But they’re not the same as all sitting around a table. You know, there’s all sorts of technology issues. So this might be a quieter year. But after this convention, we promise we will either do another podcast, or we will do a seven investing now, segment to sort of wrap up the news here, hopefully, there’s some really good news because a lot of us are going to get cancer or someone in our family or our circle of friends is going to get cancer. So this these can be wins for all of us. Maxx, I’ll give you the last word, anything else we want to say about the ACR or what investors should be looking at here.
Maxx Chatsko 31:21
Now again, just to wrap it up, I mean, there’s a lot of there’s gonna be early stage conference, and it’s a scientific meeting, it’s not an industry meeting, you know, so that does color it a little bit differently. Like you said, I mean, I go to leather industry conferences as well. And those actually have like specific partnering, you know, time slots and things baked into those schedules. Not so much here. But there is a lot of that, you know, cross pollination of ideas. there’s already some tabs and collaborations behind the scenes with, you know, researchers to different companies, and everyone’s kind of aware of what’s going on, but it’s only a few quieter year in terms of acquisitions or partnerships. But for investors, at least, you know, again, good way to double check your thesis, make sure companies that you’re interested in are moving on the right path. Or maybe there’s something else that gets discussed at this meeting that you know, kind of shows it another way that a lot of people are trying to target cancer cell therapy might not really be positioned for the future. So lots of different insights that can come out of this conference Dan,
Dan Kline 32:16
so in biotech in general don’t make investing decisions based on a news story really look to someone like Maxx his seven investing picks are often in this space. Look at the underlying story. And again, we this might be companies that are in very very early stages and they might get acquired and that tends to be good for investors but at all It also sort of ends the story. They might get big but don’t see something on CNBC three days into this conference and not to pick on them or really any cnn any new site out there. And go Oh my God, this company has it because one, the vast majority of people reporting on this are not scientists, so they are not really fit to filter this that’s why we promise we will come back again and talk about this and any real news that comes out of this we will make sure the seven investing audience has it with that. We’ve reached the end of the seven investing podcast we are 7investing we are empowering you to invest in your future. I am Dan Kline, he is Maxx Chatsko. I almost think Sam Bailey but she’s not actually producing behind the glass here.
But hey, thanks Sam. Anyway, some of the people watching are brought in by our marketing department, which she leads. We’ll see you soon.
Maxx Chatsko 33:34
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