D.A. Wallach – Investing in Healthcare – [Invest Like the Best, EP.166]

My guest today is D.A. Wallach, one of the more interesting investors I’ve come across. He is the former lead singer of the group Chester French and the former artist-in-residence at Spotify, where he was also an early investor. While he’s also an early investor in companies like SpaceX, his focus the last 5 years has been on early stage health care investing, which is the topic of this conversation. We discuss the entire life sciences and heath care investing ecosystem. This was recorded in the very early days of the Coronavirus outbreak so while we touch on it briefly it isn’t the primary focus, and I intend on returning to more traditional episodes like this one in the coming weeks, meant to be evergreen conversations. Please enjoy my conversation with D.A. Wallach.

Show Notes

1:31 – (First question) – Where is interest in healthcare started

4:04 – How to categorize health services

5:13 – The product of medicine

6:56 – How medicine is changing in 2020

10:17 – What is enabling innovation in medicine

12:41 – Manufacturing of solutions, gene therapy example

17:16 – Using CRISPR

19:47 – Pros and cons, and the morality of gene intervention

23:44 – How progress is being made in medical breakthroughs

26:51 – What is the business and investment world seeing on the longevity side

30:15 – What is next in the wearable medical tracking trend

33:04 – The personalization of medical treatments

34:31 – How he thinks about all of this from an investing standpoint

36:37 – Exiting these companies

39:41 – How he thinks about founders in this space

42:35 – Drug prices

            42:46 – The Paradox of Pricing

46:45 – What will lead to a change in the pricing of drugs

49:05 – The delivery side of healthcare

51:09 – Investments that could improve the delivery side of healthcare

53:33 – Thoughts on the anti-interventionist line of thinking in the medical world

57:50 – Lessons from his health portfolio

1:02:33 – Other frontiers that pique his interest, including gut biome

1:06:46 – His career in music

1:08:20 – Lessons he learned during his time in the music industry

1:10:19 – Opportunities in the music industry as an investor

1:12:29 – Kindest thing anyone has done for DA