Back to top

Image: Shutterstock

Healthcare & Biotech ETFs Digest GILD's Failure News: 5 Winners

Read MoreHide Full Article

Gilead Sciences (GILD - Free Report) spoilt the biotech sector’s mood on Apr 23. With coronavirus taking the world in its grip, research work on treatments and vaccines are going on at an extraordinary pace. In this context, Gilead’s nucleotide analogue prodrug Remdesivir had made big promise, only to pour waters on the hopes of the medical fraternity and investors on Apr 23 (read: ETFs to Rise as Gilead Drug Shows Promise in Coronavirus Cure).

Researchers and scientists were expecting Remdesivir to be the most promising drug against coronavirus to reach human trials. Some analysts predicted that Remdesivir might get approved by mid-May.

However, the latest update on the drug on The Financial Times was that “antiviral Remdesivir did not improve Covid-19 patients’ condition or reduce the virus’ presence in the bloodstream in a phase 3 clinical trial, citing a draft document that was accidentally published by the World Health Organization,” as quoted on CNBC.

Gilead said in a statement that the WHO document had “inappropriate characterizations of the study.” “As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease.”

How Did the Investment World Respond?

Needless to say, such a negative turn in the treatment developments weighed on Gilead shares, which lost 4.3% on Apr 23. Still, we would likely to note that biotech ETFs were pretty stable on Apr 23, probably focusing on other companies’ efforts toward drug and vaccine developments.

This is especially true given that the ongoing medical emergency should keep biotech stocks and ETFs charged up. Some upbeat pharma and healthcare earnings have also been benefiting the space (read: These Medical ETFs & Stocks Deserve a Salute on Health Day).

Biotech ETFs iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB - Free Report) and VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH - Free Report) lost only 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, on Apr 23. In fact, some biotech ETFs like First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund (FBT - Free Report) (up 0.55%), Invesco Dynamic Biotechnology & Genome ETF (PBE - Free Report) (up 0.33%) and ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO - Free Report) (up 0.27%) rose on the day.

Only Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR - Free Report) (down 1.77%) and iShares Genomics Immunology and Healthcare ETF IDNA (down 0.9%) were among the major losers. Healthcare ETFs were pretty stable. Below we highlight a few healthcare ETFs that gained quite impressively on Apr 23.

iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF - Free Report) — Up 1.76% on Apr 23

The fund includes health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes rehabilitation & retirement centers. Th fund is heavy on Unitedhealth (22.66%) and CVS Health (13.3%) (read: Healthcare ETFs in Focus Post UnitedHealth's Q1 Earnings).

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH - Free Report) — Up 1.56% on Apr 23

The pharma fund has main focus on Eli Lilly (6.33%), Johnson & Johnson (5.32%) and Zoetis (4.97%) (read: Pharma ETFs Gain on Healthy Q4 Earnings).

iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE - Free Report) — Up 1.03% on Apr 23

The fund includes pharmaceutical companies such as manufacturers of prescription or over-the-counter drugs or vaccines, but excludes producers of vitamins.The fund is heavy on Johnson & Johnson (21.49%) and Merck (17.35%) (read: JNJ Beats, Cuts View on Coronavirus: Healthcare ETFs in Focus).

SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF (XHS - Free Report) — Up 0.99% on Apr 23

The fund is heavy on Health Care Services (41.74%), followed by Managed Health Care (20.57%), Health Care Distributors (19.65%) and Health Care Facilities (18.04%).

Invesco DWA Healthcare Momentum ETF (PTH - Free Report) — Up 0.64% on Apr 23

The fund is heavy on biotechnology (40%), followed by health care equipment (17.4%) and pharma (15%). Novavax, West Pharmaceutical Services and Masimo are the top three holdings.

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 >>

Published in