We attended the 13th International Conference on Alzheimer`s & Parkinson’s Diseases in Vienna. Messages we received from the meeting are very encouraging, but patience for new therapies will be needed. Participants felt that we are on the verge of something.
Excitement in the Alzheimer’s Disease (Alzheimer’s) community for Biogen’s aducanumab (anti-abeta antibody) data remains high, as for the first time a disease modifying agent yielded a clinically relevant signal in 2015. The community seems to agree, that the recent failures of Lilly’s solanezumab (another anti-abeta antibody) and Merck’s BACE inhibitor do not question the current understanding of the disease but will help to positively influence future initiatives. Recent research work recognises that Alzheimer’s is a highly heterogenous disease – every patient is different – and that several disease mechanisms are at play.
The MSCI World Healthcare NR Index returned -2.7% in February, while the MSCI World NR Index rose 2.6%. During the last week of the month, many sectors took a hit because of rising 10-year Treasury rates (now at their highest levels in a year), enhancing on one hand the attractiveness of bonds vs. Equities and on the other hand propelling cyclical stocks.
Healthcare started 2021 on a very positive note, outperforming most of the other sectors (Energy, 3.0%, being the sole exception). The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index gained 1.1% in January 2021, while the MSCI World NR Index declined 1.0%.
The MSCI World Healthcare Net Return (NR) Index rose by 9.0% in November 2020 and the MSCI World NR Index gained 12.8%. November was the best month for global equities year-to-date (12.8%), with cyclicals outperforming defensive sectors.