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Best Biotech Stocks & ETFs for mRNA, Gene Editing

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  • (1:00) - What Exactly Is mRNA Technology?
  • (7:45) - What Is The Major Advantage To Using mRNA?
  • (11:45) - Can mRNA Be Used To Fight Other Diseases?
  • (17:00) - What Is CRISPR and How Is It Used?
  • (27:30) - How Can Investors Gain Exposure To mRNA and CRISPR?
  • (35:45) - Loncar China BioPharma ETF: CHNA
  • (47:50) - Episode Roundup: Podcast@Zacks.com

 

In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I speak with Brad Loncar, CEO of Loncar Investments, index provider for the Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR - Free Report) and the China BioPharma ETF (CHNA - Free Report) .

2020 was the most challenging year in decades but it was great for scientific innovation, particularly in the biotech space. Scientists were able to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time. Two of these vaccines, developed by Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) and BioNTech (BNTX - Free Report) in partnership with Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) , use a new technique called mRNA.

Unlike old-fashioned vaccines, which introduce a dead or weakened virus into the body, mRNA vaccines teach cells how to make a protein similar to one found on the virus, for triggering the body’s immune reaction. Can this powerful technology be used for treating other diseases?

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year for their work developing the CRISPR, gene-editing technology.  What is CRISPR? Can CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies be used to battle viruses and cure genetic diseases?

Brad likes Moderna, BioNTech, Translate Bio (TBIO - Free Report) and CureVac (CVAC - Free Report) for investing in mRNA, and while he is very bullish on the CRISPR technology, he is bearish on popular gene-editing stocks like CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP - Free Report) and Editas (EDIT - Free Report) . Tune into the podcast to learn more.

CHNA is the best performing China focused ETF this year and it is also the top performer in the healthcare space. Why should investors look at China’s pharmaceutical and biotech industry?

Broad biotech ETFs like the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB - Free Report) and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI - Free Report) are also worth a look as they offer a safer way of investing in this volatile space with high growth potential.

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.

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Disclosure: Neena owns IBB and XBI in the ETF Investor Portfolio.

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