Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world today. Globally, the number of individuals with diabetes peaked at 422 million in 2014; however, while it’s falling in developed countries, rates of the disease are on the rise in developing nations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “in 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death with an estimated 1.5 million deaths directly caused by diabetes.

The persistence and prevalence of diabetes is translating into a need for better healthcare. However, also a need for a thematic investing movement centered on innovative companies. Today, some of the biggest biotech companies in the world have diabetes in their research crosshairs. In addition, there’s startups focused specifically on this condition.

Investors looking to invest in the success of a potential diabetes cure have no shortage of companies to explore. For example, here’s a look at six diabetes stocks poised to deliver long-term returns as they encroach on treatments for improving quality of life, lowering mortality rates and, ultimately, curing diabetes.

Abbott is one of the best diabetes stocks

No. 6 Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)

Abbott is one of the largest medical device and healthcare treatment developers in the world. For thematic investors with an eye. For diabetes stocks, consider this company due to its specific focus on diabetes management and care.

Not only does Abbott operate an entire diabetes care division, the company also has active investments in diabetes focused biotech startups like Bigfoot Biomedical. The company’s diabetes care products saw a 37.1% boost in organic sales growth in 2021, solidifying Abbott as a clear contender in the space.

No. 5 AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN)

AstraZeneca is on the cutting edge of diabetes research and is helping to empower better modes of treatment through a better understanding of the disease. Specifically, the company has made significant inroads in linking diabetes to other chronic health conditions. And to inform better approaches to patient care and treatment.

The company has several diabetes-focused drugs in its pipeline, recent FDA expansion approval for its once-weekly diabetes medicine for children, Bydureon. AstraZeneca’s massive reach and research budget make it a major player. This includes developing better treatments for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

No. 4 DexCom, Inc. (Nasdaq: DXCM)

DexCom is an authority in the realm of continuous glucose monitoring devices and smart alert products. In general, the company is well-positioned as a leader in the diabetes medtech space and continues to grow its presence through acquisitions and partnerships. Most notably, the company could acquire medical device firm Insulet, which would establish the conglomerate as a de-facto market leader for insulin pumps and glucose monitors.

Investors looking for a diabetes stock with a massive runway—as opposed to a blue-chip biotech company—will find themselves attracted to DexCom’s extensive runway. Additionally, its innovative approach is one of the most crucial aspects of diabetes management: glucose monitoring.

No. 3 Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS)

Novartis is a $200+ billion drugmaker with a track record that extends to a wide variety of drugs and therapies. And this covers a full range of conditions. The company has a special focus on diabetes and is in active pursuit of innovation at every level, from clinical research to synthesis of new drugs.

Most recently, Novartis announced that it had received European Commission approval for its drug Beovu®, for people living with diabetic macular edema. This, on the heels of findings from two long-term diabetes-focused clinical studies (KESTREL and KITE trials). The company has already announced its intent to further develop drugs aimed at treating diabetic complications.

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Diabetes Stocks are a Thematic Investing Opportunity

It’s no secret that diabetes is one of the most pervasive diseases in the world today. With so much time, effort and expense devoted to curing it, there’s tremendous potential. Therefore, we’ll see new breakthroughs come to light quickly. Investors seeking to capitalize on breakthrough medications and technologies have no shortage of diabetes stocks to choose from. Therefore, consider any of the above companies as part of a portfolio focused on quality-of-life improvements.

Want more insights on diabetes stocks or companies focused on treating and curing other chronic health conditions? Subscribe to one of the best investment newsletters for tips and advice on how to become a successful thematic investor within the healthcare and biotechnology space.