U.S. Markets closed

Can Biotech ETFs Continue to Soar in 2020?

Neena Mishra
  • (1:20) - Who Could Benefit From A Coronavirus Treatment?
  • (5:45) - What Should Investors Expect From Biotech In 2020?
  • (10:50) - Will The FDA Approve Biogen’s New Alzheimer’s Drug?
  • (15:00) - New and Exciting Cancer Treatments
  • (22:15) - CRISPR: Is 2020 The Year For Gene Therapy?
  • (32:40) - Merck’s Product Spin Off
  •                 Podcast@Zacks.com

In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I speak with Brad Loncar, biotech expert and CEO of Loncar Investments.

Biotech stocks soared in 2019, particularly in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to very strong M&A activity in the space. Per EY, life sciences M&A activity, driven by pharmaceutical buyers, totaled an unprecedented $357 billion in 2019 (as of November 30), topping the 2014 record.

Looking at the longer term,  the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI was one of the best performing ETFs of the past decade. What lies ahead in 2020?

Coronavirus has already killed about 565 people, mostly in China, and infected more than 28,000 people across 25 countries. Gilead GILD is reported to be working with the Chinese authorities to conduct a clinical trial of the drug remdesivir in patients infected with the coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson JNJ and GlaxoSmithKline GSK are also working on vaccines.

Some small and mid-sized biotech companies like Moderna MRNA, Novavax NVAX and NanoViricides NNVC have said they are working on new treatments for the virus and their shares have been quite volatile. Should investors look at them?

Will FDA approve Biogen’s potentially game changing Alzheimer’s drug this year? The drug reportedly showed slower declines in study patients’ cognitive abilities.

The cancer death rate in the US declined 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year decrease ever recorded, according to the latest report from the American Cancer Society, mainly due to great improvements in survival rates for lung cancer and melanoma.

Major drug makers like Roche RHHBY and Bristol Meyers BMY are spending billions of dollars to gain an edge in the $123 billion global cancer drugs market, which is among the industry’s biggest and fastest growing, per WSJ.

What are the key things to watch in cancer treatments like immunotherapy for 2020?

Spending on gene therapies is projected to grow 25 times by the end of 2024. Brad thinks 2020 could be a big year for gene therapy.

Crispr is the best-known gene-editing technology. The Chinese scientist who created the world’s first genetically modified babies, using the Crispr-Cas9 editing technique, was sentenced to three years in prison recently. Tune into the podcast to learn more.

Please visit loncarfunds.com to learn more about the immunotherapy and China biopharma indexes. Make sure to be on the lookout for the next edition of the ETF Spotlight! If you have any comments or questions, please email podcast@zacks.com

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!                   

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020.  

Click here for the 6 trades >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI): ETF Research Reports
 
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Novavax, Inc. (NVAX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.