May 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

How to make money from stem cells

Paul, how can I make money from stem cells?

Someone recently asked me this question and more often I get asked “Which stem cell companies do YOU like as a stem cell scientist?”

Just today an article went out that said that the global market for stem cell products will be $65 billion by 2015. That’s big money. A relatively new blog/website, investorstemcell.com,   focuses on stem cell investments and has some good articles.

We get quite a few investors on this blog who own stock in a variety of biotech companies working on stem cells including Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Geron, STEM, and others. People actually working at these companies and most big pharma read this blog regularly as well.

The hope of stem cell investors is that by investing in one of these pioneering stem cell companies, they can make money, loads of money. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.

I think some of them are also happy about the fact that their investment is an ethical one that could make a difference in the lives of countless people suffering from conditions that in many cases are untreatable now.

But of course there is nothing wrong with making money, too, right? And this can and does lead to important philanthropic efforts.   Look at the amazing things that Bill and Melinda Gates have done with their billions through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Investing in biotech companies is extremely risky in general and those doing stem cell research appear to be arguably even more risky.

It is true that if one of these companies gets bought out by a big pharma company or if they make a clinical breakthrough, investors could rake in the dough.

But as much as I want these companies to succeed and I think out of the bunch at least one will make it, for any given individual company, the odds are steep and for investors putting all their eggs in one basket of a single stem cell biotech, this means that you are more likely to lose your money than make money.

From my perspective a good bet might be stem cell banking as this does not require clinical trials, etc. etc. , and more and more people will be freezing their stem cells. Can you take money to the bank from investing in stem cell banks? Who knows, but it’s an interesting idea. What companies are the leaders in this area?

I am not personally invested in any biotech companies. Also, as I’ve said many times before I am not an investment advisor and I’m not giving anyone specific advice on this blog. My interest in stem cells is scientific, but I do realize the importance of biotech companies and money in advancing research, which is why I blog about them.