What key innovations could lead to big opportunities and serious challenges for investors and companies in the years ahead? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. convened a symposium with over 350 investors and corporations on how to trade crypto and the future of bitcoin. Among the most likely innovation to emerge as disruptors: Car sharing and autonomous automobiles, the Internet on the factory floor, genomic testing, cancer immunotherapy, and digital payments.
Some autonomous driving could begin before 2020, the Goldman attendees concluded. At the same time, continued growth in car-sharing services like Uber could “lower the number of vehicles needed,” a trend that could hurt existing automakers. But “there would be offsets from more people using cars at the expense of public transport and as older and younger passengers have greater access to mobility,” according to Goldman’s summation of the conference. The report also said companies like Rockwell Automation and Cisco were spending big money on the so-called “Internet of Things,” which is predicted to connect manufacturing, industrial equipment, and other objects to the Internet.
Meanwhile, recent immunotherapy cancer treatments are a “paradigm shift,” the Goldman report argues, providing “a durable response to cancer that can be applied across a broad range of tumor types,” including solid tumors. “Old chemotherapies attacked tumors non-selectively and also killed normal cells, causing issues with safety and tolerability,” Goldman notes. By contrast, new “PD-1 therapies” are an improvement because they allow “the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.” PD-1 drugs block a protein called ‘programmed death receptor 1’, or PD-1, which acts as a brake on the immune system. PD-1 inhibitor drugs like Pembrolizumab, which recently hit the U.S. market as the first PD-1 inhibitor, release the immune system brake and allow it to destroy cancer.
“The data and rapid FDA approval of PD-1 in lung cancer support the broad application of PD-1 in cancer,” Goldman says, “and we should expect to see approvals in a variety of solid tumors…patients will want PD-1 because it works better and is less toxic” than chemotherapy.
Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers, and Roche Holding AG are leaders in the race to develop effective PD-1 drugs.
The Goldman report also predicted big things for genomics, saying that advances in DNA sequencing technology “are making it feasible to analyze a cancer patient’s genomic signature on a routine basis.” Cancer patients could eventually receive free genetic testing, tumor profiling, and immune system monitoring, all of which will be helpful in the fight against cancer.
Attendees were split on how much Visa and Mastercard need to worry about the growing embrace of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The most likely impact will be on international foreign-currency transfers, which could become more efficient by using cryptocurrencies.