What “DNA Titan” Stock Is Whitney Tilson Pitching?

Whitney Tilson has released a presentation dubbed “The Last Pill” that centers around a company he claims is behind a “revolutionary discovery.”

According to Tilson, the company’s “breakthrough technology” could lead us to a future where medicine is no longer generic but “tailored specifically for your genotype.”

And he says the stock has “trillion dollar potential.”

Long story short, Tilson details his recommendation in a report called “The DNA Titan: The Next Trillion-Dollar Company,” which comes with a $49 subscription to his flagship newsletter, Empire Stock Investor.

But you don’t have to join to find out what he’s teasing.

Because ahead, I’ll break down my take on his “last pill” thesis and show you what company I think he’s teasing based on the clues he shared in the presentation.

Breaking Down Tilson’s “Last Pill” Teaser

Whitney Tilson’s “last pill” teaser (dated June 2023) was pretty long-winded and included some stuff he’s discussed in past presentations I’ve looked into.

In short, Tilson is bullish on the idea of personalized medicine (aka precision medicine), which is basically an approach to treating diseases based on your genetic profile (among other things) rather than prescribing a more generic treatment.

I’m not (in any way) a medical expert, but that’s my understanding of it.

And according to Tilson, precision medicine is made possible thanks to genetic sequencing (aka DNA sequencing).

“Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, is exactly what it sounds like.

“Instead of using the same generic approach for everyone…

“Precision medicine will help your doctor find your unique disease risks and treatments that will work best for you.

“The health care industry is racing toward precision medicine all thanks to genetic sequencing.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20230801234939/https://secure.empirefinancialresearch.com/?cid=MKT744529&eid=MKT748736&assetId=AST304237&page=2

DNA sequencing is all about determining the exact sequence of nucleotides in a DNA molecule, and it’s the basis of Tilson’s investment thesis.

Basically, he claims this technology is behind the rise of precision medicine and that it could bring about a host of other innovations related to synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology is essentially where new “stuff” is created by analyzing the DNA of things like plants, animals, and insects, for example.

For example, in the presentation, Tilson talked about how synthetic biology is being used to create synthetic spider silk, which can be used to create stronger, longer-lasting textiles and bulletproof jackets. He also talked about how it could help reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, create biofuels, and develop a host of other innovations.

In and of itself, this is quite an interesting topic. And Tilson has discussed the idea of synthetic biology in a different presentation I wrote about if you want to dig deeper.

But that’s the gist of it… Tilson’s bullish on DNA sequencing because of precision medicine and the innovation surrounding synthetic biology.

And more specifically, Tilson’s presentation suggests that he’s bullish on the company “behind the machines helping DNA be sequenced at lightning speed.”

So with that said, let’s dig deeper to find out what company he’s teasing.

Whitney Tilson’s “DNA Titan” Stock Revealed

Tilson claims that the “DNA Titan” company he’s recommending “could end up being the most profitable recommendation” of his “entire career.”

Take that with a grain of salt because no one can predict the future. But I did look into his clues and think I may have figured out what company he’s referring to.

To start with, he talked about how the company has a bunch of patents:

“They currently have over 9,000 patents on their technology…78% of which are active today.”


“That includes 98 patents specifically for the revolutionary new technology I have been raving about.”

That clue, in and of itself, doesn’t tell us much.

But the next set of clues were more telling, and they are what led me to find his pick.

First, Tilson dropped the following hint about a forum the company held to “showcase” some of their new developments, which Bill Gates and Barack Obama attended:

“Late last year, the company behind this revolutionary discovery held a forum.

“It was an opportunity to showcase some of their newest developments.

“Bill Gates and former president Barack Obama were amongst several high-profile names on hand.”

Second, he talked about how the company’s “ultimate goal” is to reduce the cost of a DNA sequence to $100 a pop:

“While their previous machines were efficient, they were costly.

“It would cost over $600 per person to have their DNA sequenced.

“With the new high-powered machines, the cost would be more than a third less.

“And the company is continuing to make improvements to drive that price down.

“With the ultimate goal of $100 per sequence.”

Third, he shared some figures about the company’s stock:

“It has treated its loyal shareholders like royalty.

“Yielding 10-year returns of 720% for investors.

“Shareholders who have been along for the ride for 20 years got 8,390% returns.

“They have increased revenue in 13 consecutive years.

“Growing at a rate of 1,700% during that time.”

And lastly, he mentioned some of the company’s customers/partners:

“They are so efficient and effective that some of the biggest players in the business are rushing to buy more.

“Roche. Bristol Myers Squib. Merck.

“Even Amazon has partnered with them to get a piece of this growing market.”

Based on all of that, it looks like Tilson’s pick might be Illumina, Inc. (ILMN).


Because first of all, the forum Tilson was referring to seems to have been a 2022 San Diego Genomics Forum hosted by Illumina, which focused on the “potential of genomics and personalized medicine” and that was headlined by Gates and Obama.

So, that clue’s a bullseye match.

Next, according to an article on TechCrunch, Illumina’s goal is to be able to sequence DNA for as little as $100 at some point in the future.

Third, according to the company website, Illumina’s partnerships include Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

And lastly, according to a July 2021 Motley Fool article on nasdaq.com, Illumina has delivered “10-year and 20-year returns of 720% and 8,390%, respectively.”

At first, the above clue threw me off because in the last 10 years (I am writing this in August 2023), the returns have been way less than that. But it seems Tilson was referring to the ten-year period leading up to 2021… before shares nosedived.

Here’s a chart to show you what I mean:

A chart of Illumina's stock taken from the Google search results on August 2, 2023.
Source: https://www.google.com/search?q=Illumina+stock

What does the company do?

According to the company’s site, Illumina’s mission is to “improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome.” So, it’s basically a genomics company, which is a field of study that is grounded in DNA sequencing and relates to synthetic biology.

Beyond that, I can’t tell you much as I’m not a biotech expert.

But that’s the overview.

And while I won’t speculate on whether or not it’s a good investment, I did manage to find one recent article about the company from Alex Carchidi on the Motley Fool website, which you may find useful if you want to further your research.

And before I leave you, I want to discuss one other company Tilson pitched in the presentation toward the end.

“The Amazon of Biotech: the $1 company LEADING the synthetic biology Revolution”

Whitney Tilson hyped up several more companies toward the end of the presentation before pitching his newsletter, but most of the clues he shared were vague.

Except for one company, about which he said the following:

“This company currently has 50 active engineering projects in the works and over 188 patents, including for the technology used to program and modify cells.”


“Tech Crunchbelieves this company could be ‘the Amazon of Biomanufacturing.'”


“Just imagine.

“Getting in on the next Amazon…a company whose stock grew by 265,571% on the back of the eCommerce megatrend.

“For the miniscule price of just over $1 per share.”

That’s not much to go off, but the clues are specific. And I think he’s talking about a company he has pitched before called Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA).

Here’s why I say that:

  • According to a 2019 Forbes article, Ginkgo had “50 active engineering projects” at the time the article was written.
  • This TechCrunch article (somewhat) lines up with the quote Tilson shared about how the company could be the “Amazon of Biomanufacturing.”
  • And third, the company’s shares are currently sitting at $2.34 as of writing, but they were trading at “just over $1 per share” in May 2023, which may have been when the presentation was recorded (since it is dated June 2023).

Here’s a longer-term chart of Ginkgo for your reference:

A chart of Ginkgo Bioworks' stock taken from the Google search results on August 2, 2023.
Source: https://www.google.com/search?q=ginkgo+stock

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, I do find some of the tech and biotech innovations Tilson talks about in his presentations interesting, but that doesn’t mean they’re good investments.

I joined his Empire Stock Investor newsletter a while back (no, I did not log in to see what his picks were before writing this), and I can safely say that not everything he’s recommended has worked out well. In fact, some of his picks have been disasters.

So, my point is, as compelling as Tilson’s pitch may be, he doesn’t have a crystal ball. So I wouldn’t recommend rushing into anything without doing your own research and understanding that there are considerable risks involved with investing.

Still, at least now you don’t have to join his newsletter just to find out what his “DNA Titan” pick is, assuming you think my research is correct. And if you are considering checking out his service, I would recommend reading my full review of it here first.

Anyways, that’s it from me. Appreciate you stopping by, and all the best!

1 thought on “What “DNA Titan” Stock Is Whitney Tilson Pitching?”

  1. Motely Fool had Illumina (ILMN) as a rec four or five years ago. I sold those shares in 2020 for a good %35 profit. I’ve just recently re-bought ILMN because of its acquisition then spinoff of Grail (a impressive cancer screening test capable of identifying the cellular signals of around 50 different cancers and their profiles. I also took the Grail blood test and was again impressed with how they reported the results in detail. I believe Tim was spot on.


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