The ESG and impact dilemma when investing in gene therapy innovations

Gene therapy is a highly innovative but also a highly risky space. Many of the companies operating in this area are start-ups and scale ups that often do not have strong ESG policies and practices in place to manage these risks. Common risks include for example production delays, which can seriously affect the financials of the companies given the nature of novel gene therapy products and complex manufacturing processes. Toxicity risks often pop up in gene therapy companies using viral vector production. Despite the great impact potential of gene therapy, we deem the ESG and risk profile of these companies too high and therefore do not view this as an attractive investment opportunity for our clients.