Difei Yang, Ph.D., serves as a Managing Director of Equity Research at Mizuho Securities USA LLC, Research Division. Dr. Yang is part of the Americas research team at the firm. Dr. Yang has been covering the biotech and pharma sector for nearly a decade, most recently serving as Managing Director at Aegis Capital. She has also served in senior equity analyst roles at Brean Capital, R.F. Lafferty, WallachBeth Capital and Auriga Global Investors.
In addition to her research expertise, she has also held senior science, program management and business development roles within the pharmaceutical industry and has authored many granted U.S. patents and peer-reviewed scientific publications. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California Los Angeles as well as an MBA from Georgia State University and a B.S. in physics from Peking University, China. In this 2,141 word exclusive interview with the Wall Street Transcript, Dr. Yang develops her search for high growth gene therapy stocks for her investors but cautions about buying the whole sector at current prices:
“TWST: Do you see a capital pullback with the sector being overheated?
Dr. Yang: Capital is not likely pulling back on investing in new companies, but existing companies that are experiencing setbacks in R&D development could see significant share price volatilities. Sometimes, a trigger event happens with a very notable company, and the entire gene therapy space realizes there may be more risks or it may take longer than originally thought. Then, the whole space cools down for a period of time, and investors’ expectations get reset.”
The gene therapy platform stocks are not widely understood, although this is changing. Dr. Yang has the insight needed to pick through the current offerings:
“Vectors generally come in two different types. AAV — adeno-associated virus — is the more mature technology, and the other is called lentivirus. AAV is more advanced as of today, but the future should be in lentivirus because that vector, which is gaining traction, has the capability to work with a bigger amount of gene material. Right now, approved products and products in late-stage development are mostly using the AAV vectors.”
To get specific stock recommendations and to learn more about this intriguing sector from Dr. Difei Yang, read the entire 2,141, word interview in the Wall Street Transcript.