Eye Companies Helping Health Care Stand Out

Eye Companies Helping Health Care Stand Out
Healthcare stocks are outperforming the indices, and ophthalmic companies are helping to fuel a large part of that growth, Jeffrey Hoffman, Managing Director and Head of West Coast Healthcare Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan, told attendees at the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit in Chicago.

“Healthcare has outperformed most other sectors, and it has been primarily driven by biotechnology,” he said. “Biotech is up 300 percent, so you can see why investors are racing to that market. They go to places where they’re making money and outperforming the indices.”

Hoffman observed that the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up about 77% over the last five years. Medical technology, unlike biotech, has lagged over the past five- to ten-year period, but has performed well year to date and is poised to continue that run.

He noted why the biotechnology and medical technology sectors have had contrasting track records in the past few years. “Biotech has had a very conducive FDA, and medtech has had a challenging reimbursement climate and smaller markets, but that is starting to be worked through,” he said.

Biotechnology benefited from launches such as Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences Inc.’s biologic drug for hepatitis C. “You’ve seen people really flocking to the biotech sectors, but investors are over weighted in their portfolios with biotech and biopharma, so they’re now looking for ways to get growth in the medtech sector,” said Hoffman.