Evidence-Based Summary on the Coronavirus by our LifeSci Healthcare Fund

 In AlphaCentric, research paper

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic has roiled equity markets as recent headlines highlight disease spread outside of initial epicenter in Wuhan, China. We reviewed the scientific | medical literature to provide an evidence-based summary of what is known about this outbreak, how it compares to others in recent memory and potential therapies in development. 

Comparison of coronavirus epidemics 

SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the coronavirus family that leads to COVID-19. It is genetically related to SARS-CoV, which is the coronavirus that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) global epidemic from 2002–2003, and less related to MERS-CoV, the coronavirus that caused of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) from 2021-present (see table below for citations). Early data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is much more easily transmitted compared to the aforementioned coronaviruses due to increased viral shedding from both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

The enhanced infection rate helps explain why there is nearly a ten fold larger number of COVID-19 cases reported in less than three months compared to the total numbers observed for SARS and MERS combined throughout the entire outbreak.

The reported case fatality of 3.4% is well below that seen with SARS and MERS with the majority of deaths in elderly patients with co-morbidities. Epidemiologists estimate the mortality rate may prove to be lower over time as more asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases are diagnosed. That said, COVID-19 is associated with a 5-15% severe respiratory complication rate that requires acute medical care further contributing to the disease burden.

Future projections
Coordinated public health measures led to the rapid containment of SARS in 2002-2003, but the significantly higher case numbers and differentiated transmission characteristics of COVID-19 make it difficult to predict the effectiveness of similar measures. Early data is conflicting, showing both reduction of COVID-19 cases due to containment measures in Wuhan, China, but sustained transmission in multiple new locations including South Korea, Italy and Iran. Expert projections for the ultimate course of the COVID-19 epidemic range from “possible containment” to “40 to 70 percent of the adult global population will eventually become infected.”7 Fortunately, exciting developments from innovative biopharma companies have the potential to limit the impact of disease should it develop into a global pandemic.

Treatments in development
More than 80 clinical trials have been reported for potential COVID-19 treatments ranging from traditional Chinese herbal medicine to complex biologics highlighting the potential to rapidly mobilize scientific efforts to address emergent threats.8 We believe molecularly targeted antiviral therapies, genetically defined vaccines and engineered monoclonal antibodies offer the strongest scientific rationale of all the approaches proposed. Below we summarize some of the most advanced efforts from US listed companies.

For more on Clinical Programs and Preclinical Programs for potential vaccines, Read the Full article:

Possible Vaccines and Clinical and Preclinical programs

To learn more about this strategic partner and the Ph.D. Portfolio Manager of this Fund

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AlphaCentric LifeSci Heathcare Fund

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Important Risk Information
The Fund is new and has a limited history of operations for investors to evaluate. The fund may be non-diversified and the value and/or volatility of a single issuer could have a greater impact on performance. The Fund may be susceptible to increased risk of loss due to adverse occurrences affecting the Fund more than the market as a whole, because the Funds investments are concentrated. Some securities held by the Fund may be difficult to sell, or illiquid, particularly during times of market turmoil. The Fund can invest in smaller-sized companies which may experience higher failure rates and have a lower trading volume than larger companies. Adverse occurrences may increase risk of loss for the fund more than the market as a whole , because the Funds investments are concentrated. The fund can have risk associated with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in which these companies may be heavily dependent on clinical trials with uncertain outcomes and decisions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Companies in the technology industries have different risks including, but not limited to, products becoming obsolete, and entrance of competing products. Further, these companies are dependent on patent protection, and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of the companies. The Fund invests in IPOs at the time of the initial public offering and in post-IPO trading. IPOs are often subject to extreme price volatility and speculative trading. The ETFs in which the fund invests are subject to advisory fees and other expenses and as a result the cost of investing in the fund will be higher than the cost of investing directly in the underlying funds. The Funds can have risk related to option investing. There are special risks associated with investments in foreign companies including exposure to currency fluctuations, less efficient trading markets, political instability and differing auditing and legal standards. All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal, there is no assurance thatthe Fund will achieve its investment objective.
4261-NLD-3/3/2020.

References: 1. Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 2. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Returning. Travelers from Wuhan, China, NEJM February 18 2020 Letter. 3. SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients, NEJM Feb 19 2020 Letter. 4. WHO MERS Monthly Summary https://www.who.int/ emergencies/mers-cov/en/ 5. WHO Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Disease Reference News 31 Jan 2020. 6. WHO 2003 Consensus document on the epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) https://www.who.int/csr/sars/en/WHOconsensus.pdf?ua=1 7. Harvard Magazine, Fighting SARS-2, February 2020 https://harvardmagazine.com/2020/02/fighting-sars-2 8. Nature 578, 347-348, 2020. 9. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Ebola Virus Disease Therapeutics, NEJM, 381, 24, 2293-2303.

 

 

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