The healthcare sector defied last week’s market rout, triggered by the resumption of decline in the technology sector after the Fed warned that the economic outlook remains "highly uncertain.” This is especially true against the progress in the development of a coronavirus vaccine or treatment, and merger and acquisition news.
President Donald Trump expects to have coronavirus vaccine for every American by April. He told in a news conference: "
Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month.” Trump added that distribution of a vaccine would begin within 24 hours of it being approved by federal health regulators. Among the companies racing for the vaccine, AstraZeneca Plc ( AZN Quick Quote AZN - Free Report) resumed the U.K. trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222, in collaboration with the University of Oxford following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so. The trial was paused globally after a person who received the vaccine had an unexplained illness (read: ETFs to Gain as AstraZeneca Resumes Coronavirus Vaccine Trial). Pfizer’s ( PFE Quick Quote PFE - Free Report) management said that the vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, if proven to be safe and effective by federal regulators, in collaboration with BioNTech could reach Americans before 2020-end. The phase 3 clinical trial data result is expected to be released next month. The companies’ previously stated that they expect to be able to produce 100 million doses by the end of this year and 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. The biotech firm Vaxart has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the phase I clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The company is developing an oral vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Merger News
Gilead Sciences (
GILD Quick Quote GILD - Free Report) has agreed to buy cancer treatments’ specialist Immunomedics for $21 billion. The deal, if approved, would be Gilead’s largest acquisition ever. The acquisition will expand Gilead's portfolio of treatments for various types of cancer. In particular, it would bolster Gilead’s cancer portfolio by gaining access to a promising breast cancer treatment drug Trodelvy for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, which was granted an accelerated FDA approval in April (read: Biotech ETFs Soar on Gilead-Immunomedics Deal). That said, many healthcare ETFs & stocks gained in double digits. Below, we highlight five from both corners of the investing world that outperformed last week: Junior Biotechnology ETF IBBJ – Up 13.6% This is a new entrant in the healthcare space, having amassed $2.7 million in its asset base in more than a month. It follows the Nasdaq Junior Biotechnology Index and targets companies engaged in research and development, the sale or licensing of biological substances for the purposes of drug discovery and diagnostic development; and pharmaceutical manufacturers of prescription or over-the counter drugs, including vaccines and development and manufacturing companies. The fund holds 176 securities in its basket and charges 45 bps in annual fees. It trades in average daily volume of 7,000 shares. Principal Healthcare Innovators Index ETF ( BTEC Quick Quote BTEC - Free Report) – Up 12.5% This fund invests in small and medium-capitalization U.S. healthcare companies that are leading the charge in innovative solutions, rather than spending money on marketing and distribution by tracking the Nasdaq US Health Care Innovators Index. It holds 206 stocks in its basket and charges 42 bps in annual fees. The product has accumulated $97.3 million in its asset base and trades in volume of 13,000 shares on average. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) (read: Why Small-Cap Biotech ETFs Are Good Long-Term Bets). Invesco DWA Healthcare Momentum ETF ( PTH Quick Quote PTH - Free Report) – Up 12% This fund follows the Dorsey Wright Healthcare Technical Leaders Index and holds a basket of 51 U.S. companies. It has AUM of $497.8 million and charges 60 bps in annual fees. Biotechnology takes the largest share at 45%, while healthcare equipment and supplies and healthcare providers and services round off the next two with double-digit exposure each. PTH trades in average daily volume of 62,000 shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook. Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF ( BBC Quick Quote BBC - Free Report) – Up 11.8% This fund has a novel approach to biotechnology investing with exposure to companies that are in the clinical trial stage. This can easily be done by tracking the LifeSci Biotechnology Clinical Trials Index. BBC has amassed $42.7 million in its asset base and charges 79 bps in fees per year from its investors. It trades in a lower average daily volume of around 23,000 shares and holds 132 securities in its basket. The product carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook. iShares Genomics Immunology and Healthcare ETF ( IDNA Quick Quote IDNA - Free Report) – Up 11.6% This ETF follows the NYSE FactSet Global Genomics and Immuno Biopharma Index, which offers exposure to developed and emerging market companies that could benefit from long-term growth and innovation in genomics, immunology, and bioengineering. Holding 46 stocks in its basket, the fund has gathered $149.5 million in AUM and trades in moderate average daily volume of 69,000 shares. It charges 47 bps in annual fees. Cassava Sciences Inc. ( SAVA Quick Quote SAVA - Free Report) – Up 220.7% This company is focused on the early detection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 and VGM Score of C. It has a market cap of $250.9 million. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here Novus Therapeutics Inc. — Up 133.4% This pharmaceutical company is focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of ear, nose and throat products. With a market cap of $17.3 million, it has a Zacks Rank #3 and VGM Score of F. Immunomedics Inc. — Up 103.4% This company develops monoclonal antibody-based products for difficult-to-treat solid tumors and blood cancer. It has a Zacks Rank #3 and VGM Score of D. The stock has a market cap of $19.8 billion. Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( MRNS Quick Quote MRNS - Free Report) — Up 77.4% This clinical stage biopharmaceutical company is focused on developing and commercializing therapeutics for the treatment of epilepsy and other targeted neurological, behavioral and psychiatric disorders. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 and VGM Score of F. It has a market cap of $422.8 million (read: Biotech ETFs to Shine Bright on Coronavirus Vaccine Progress). WAVE Life Sciences Ltd. ( WVE Quick Quote WVE - Free Report) — Up 60% This preclinical biopharmaceutical company designs, develops and commercializes nucleic acid therapeutic candidates for Huntington's disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and inflammatory bowel disease. With a market cap of $712.3 million, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has a VGM Score of F. 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 >>