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How to invest in biotechnology (biotech) stocks and shares

Investing in biotechnology comes with big risks but big potential rewards.

Here we explain how to invest in the sector, outline the risks involved, and suggest some of the best biotech stocks to add to your portfolio.

Biotechnology, also known as biotech, is a rapidly growing industry with potential for investors looking for long-term growth opportunities.  

The biotech industry is involved in the development of new drugs, medical devices, and technologies that can help diagnose, treat, and prevent some of the world’s most serious diseases.  

As the world's population continues to age, demand for new and innovative healthcare solutions is expected to surge, making biotech an attractive investment option.

In this article, we will explore the opportunities and risks associated with investing in biotech and provide some tips on how to invest wisely in this exciting industry. 

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How to invest in biotech

Investing in biotech can be a great way to take advantage of the rapidly growing healthcare industry.  

Here are some ways to invest in biotech: 

1. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs): ETFs that track biotech companies offer diversification and can help spread out the risk associated with investing in individual companies. Some popular biotech ETFs include iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB) and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI). 

2. Mutual funds: Similar to ETFs, mutual funds offer diversification by investing in a group of biotech companies. Some well-regarded biotech mutual funds include Fidelity Select Biotechnology Portfolio (FBIOX) and T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund (PRHSX). 

3. Individual stocks: For those comfortable with more risk, investing in individual biotech companies can offer significant potential rewards. However, it's important to do your research and understand the unique risks associated with biotech investing. Some top biotech stocks include Amgen Inc. (AMGN) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX). 

What are the risks of investing in biotech?

Investing in biotech can offer the potential for outsized returns, but it involves taking high risks. Here are some of the common risks. 

Clinical trial failures

Biotech companies are heavily dependent on the success of clinical trials, which can be costly and time-consuming.

In some cases, they’re forced back to square one. A failed trial can lead to significant financial losses and can negatively impact the company’s stock price. 

Regulatory hurdles

Biotech companies must navigate a complex regulatory environment, which can lead to delays in getting their products approved or even rejection by regulatory agencies. This too can be costly. 

Patent expirations

Like with many other industries, biotech companies face the risk of patent expirations.

When patents expire, it can lead to increased competition and lower profits. 


Biotech stocks tend to be more volatile than other industries due to the uncertainty surrounding clinical trials and regulatory approvals.

This can lead to significant swings in stock prices and increased risk for investors. However, if your appetite for risk is high, you may see find this attractive. 

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Is biotech a good investment?

Biotech companies focus on developing innovative drugs and therapies that can change the course of medical treatment.

But as noted above, they can be subject to clinical trial setbacks and regulatory hurdles that may impact their financial performance.  

However, if you have a long-term investment horizon and are willing to take on some risk, biotech may be a good option for your investment portfolio.

As with any investment, it is important to conduct thorough research and seek help from a financial adviser before making any decisions.

You should also be prepared for and willing to cope with sharp fluctuations in value. 

Best biotech stocks to invest in

When it comes to investing in biotech, there are several promising companies to consider.  

1. Moderna (MRNA): this company is at the forefront of developing mRNA technology for vaccines and treatments. Its COVID-19 vaccine has been highly effective and widely used, and the company is also developing mRNA therapies for cancer and other diseases. 

2. Regeneron (REGN): Regeneron is a leading biotech company that focuses on developing treatments for serious medical conditions, including cancer, eye diseases, and inflammatory conditions. The company has several successful drugs on the market and a strong pipeline of new therapies. 

3. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): Vertex is a biotech company that specializes in developing treatments for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the lungs and other organs. Its drugs have been highly effective in treating the disease, and the company has a robust pipeline of other potential therapies. 

4. Biogen (BIIB): Biogen is a biotech company that focuses on developing treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. The company has several successful drugs on the market and a promising pipeline of new therapies. 

See also:

How to invest in silver

How to invest in commodities

How to invest in copper

How to invest in hotels

How to invest in AI

How to invest in healthcare

If you’re new to investing or want to explore your options for investing in biotech further, it’s always recommended to seek financial advice first.

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Let us match you to your perfect financial adviser today.

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About the author
Andy Jones is a content publisher at unbiased.co.uk and has over 10 years experience in copywriting, content management and content production across finance, marketing, e-commerce, leisure and lifestyle.