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ETFs in Focus on Sanofi and Regeneron's COPD Drug Data

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Shares of drugmakers Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) and Regeneron (REGN - Free Report) both surged more than 6% on Mar 23 after they came up with data on a jointly developed drug Dupixent that shows promise in treating COPD. The drug is already approved for asthma and some skin conditions, such as eczema. But its role in treating COPD came to light for the first time in over a decade.

New data from a phase three clinical trial shows Dupixent lowered bad bouts of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, by 30% compared with a placebo over 52 weeks, per a CNBC article. The trial enrolled COPD patients with type 2 inflammation — an allergic response that can result in decreased lung function. About 300,000 people in the United States alone live with COPD with type 2 inflammation, according to Regeneron.

The more than 900 participants in the trial showed improvements in lung function on receiving Dupixent. The companies said a second phase three trial of Dupixent in COPD is ongoing, with data likely to come in 2024.

“This benefit suggests a clear clinically meaningful benefit for Dupixent and should support broad usage for the asset in this segment of the COPD market,” Schott wrote in a research note to clients Thursday, as quoted on the above-mentioned CNBC article.

The article pointed out that J.P. Morgan expects to see new COPD patients infusing $1.5 billion to $2 billion in new sales for Dupixent. Dupixent amassed sales of $8.7 billion last year for Regeneron, up 40% year over year.

Against this backdrop, investors can bet on the pharma ETFs that are heavy on Sanofi and Regeneron.

ETFs in Focus

Invesco Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBBQ - Free Report)

Regeneron: 7.96% of the fund’s weight

Sanofi: 1.43% of the fund’s weight

The underlying Nasdaq Biotechnology Index measures the performance of either biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. The fund charges 19 bps in fees.

Simplify Health Care ETF (PINK - Free Report)

Regeneron: 5.79% of the fund’s weight

Sanofi: 5.55% of the fund’s weight

This actively-managed ETF seeks long term capital appreciation by providing investors with multi-cap exposure to groundbreaking and innovative companies in biotech, medtech, gene therapy, and other fast growing health care related sectors. The fund charges 50 bps in fees.

iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB - Free Report)

Regeneron: 7.57% of the fund’s weight

The underlying ICE Biotechnology Index contains securities of NASDAQ listed companies that are classified as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals. The fund charges 44 bps in fees.

VanEck Biotech ETF (BBH - Free Report)

Regeneron: 6.19% of the fund’s weight

The underlying MVIS US Listed Biotech 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in the development and production, marketing and sales of drugs based on genetic analysis and diagnostic equipment. The fund charges 35 bps in fees.

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