Individual Investors

Five innovative global biotech companies you should know about

Mar 09, 2021

Biotechnology came into the spotlight in 2020 as many companies raced to test and register vaccines for COVID-19, however, the potential and growth of this industry extends far beyond the pandemic. Biotechnology is transforming the way we treat and manage a range of health concerns and diseases and can be a highly lucrative space. What is biotechnology? Biotechnology specifically refers to technologies that use biological processes, capturing companies that focus on research, development, manufacturing and/or marketing of products based on biological and genetic information. The different types of biotechnology include biological drugs, vaccines, immunotherapy, gene therapy, orphan drugs and genetic engineering. While Australian companies like CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL) are no slouches when it comes to innovative biotech, the US is typically viewed as the global centre. The dominance of the US market is partly due to the world-renowned US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process and to the size of its customer base. As a result, many companies base themselves in the US for easier access to the process and more efficient ability to distribute and market to US consumers. Global innovators Most investors are now well aware of the global companies who have been successful in developing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 but may be less familiar with some of the other innovators in the field. Here are five you should know about: 1) Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXCEL) Exelixis are focused on oncology therapeutics with three approved treatments covering kidney and liver cancer, thyroid cancer and melanoma. In January 2021, they also received FDA approval for a combined treatment using one of their existing medications and a newer product as a first-line treatment for the most common form of kidney cancer. 2) Regeneron (Nasdaq: REGN) Regeneron have eight FDA approved medications across cancer, asthma, pain management and infectious diseases. A particular success has been Eylea, which is a treatment for a range of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Regeneron has an extensive pipeline in research, development and testing. Approximately seven treatments are currently in phase 3 testing. It also has a patented DNA sequencing technology known as VelociSuite® Technologies which is one of the largest human sequencing efforts in the world. 3) Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE) Sage Therapeutics specialises in therapies for brain disorders and currently has depression, neurology and neuropsychiatry franchise programs. It offers the first and only approved post-partum depression (PPD) product known as Zulresso® and is also in phase testing for treatments covering PPD, major depressive disorder, treatment resistant depression, Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and Huntington’s Disease. Further to this, Sage has formed a global collaboration with Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) related to two of its treatments in phase testing. 4) Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD) Gilead covers three primary disease areas, including viral diseases, inflammatory diseases and oncology. It has 16 FDA approved medicines for HIV, oncology and hepatitis C. Gilead recently acquired Immunomedics in October 2020 which has an approved treatment for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Gilead has a range of products in research, development and testing, one of which is anticipated to extend the existing successful HIV treatment program and another, Filgotinib, anticipated to be a breakthrough treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. 5) Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) Vertex is primarily known for its cystic fibrosis medications and currently has four FDA approved treatments for this disease. The most recent of these, Trikafta, could assist up to 90% of patients with improved lung function. It has also acquired other biotechnology companies to expand its expertise and now has a pipeline of products in research, development and testing covering diseases and concerns such as diabetes, sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Ways to invest in biotechnology Australian investors are typically well-exposed to the concentrated Australian biotechnology market including CSL but may consider the US for exposure to a more diverse and far larger biotechnology market. Investors could consider direct shares though it is worth being aware of the high failure rates of drug testing and long periods of development (i.e. long periods where there may be no or a limited return on investment). This can mean it can take a long time to see returns (if at all). Alternatively, managed investments can assist with diversification and the risks inherent in the biotechnology industry by spreading the investment over a larger number of companies. ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX Code: CURE) offers broad and focused exposure to US biotechnology. All the US companies referenced in this article are included in this ETF.

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Three trends for 2021

Jan 25, 2021

Investors may be feeling a cautious sense of optimism as we enter 2021 with global vaccine rollouts. Last year, technology companies and commodities were investment winners, so what will 2021 hold for investment markets? There are three trends we see influencing ETF investments in 2021: the movement to value, thematic investing and short & leveraged investing. Download the complete paper here Movement to value As news of vaccines hit markets in late 2020, investors started to shift their approach away from a pure growth focus and towards value investments such as banks and industrials. This trend is likely to continue in 2021 as investors anticipate a return to ‘normal’ and start to view growth stocks, particularly in the technology sector, as overpriced. The Australian sharemarket is strongly skewed towards financials and resources, including companies typically falling into value investments. Investors could consider tailored Australian exposures such as ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF (ASX Code: ZYAU). Thematic investing with climate and biotechnology Investors are increasingly interested in tailored investments accessing the growth themes of the future, as well as being able to invest according to their views and values. ETFs targeting specific themes should continue to be prominent in the coming year and investors are becoming more aware of how to use these as part of their portfolios. While themes like virtual connectivity will continue to be popular, dynamics in the coming year should mean climate change and biotechnology will be focus points for investors. Investors considering thematic investing may wish to look at ETF Securities’ Future Present Range of ETFs. Those specifically interested in biotechnology may consider ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX Code: CURE). Alternatively, investors focused on renewable energy may consider battery technology which is a key supporter for the viability of renewable energy. ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX Code: ACDC) is the only Australian-listed ETF to offer exposure to the global battery technology supply chain. Short and leveraged investments Across the volatility of 2020, many self-directed sophisticated investors took a short-term approach to trading and embraced short & leveraged funds. As the world continues to recover from COVID-19 and manages the ongoing tension in global relationships, use of short and leveraged instruments is likely to continue along with continued bouts of volatility. Some sophisticated investors may anticipate changes in growth sectors like technology as the world opens again and choose short-term investments reflecting their views. For more information on the short & leveraged investments offered by ETF Securities, please click here. Moving forward in 2021 The last year was unexpected and has shifted global investment behaviour and dynamics. The Australian ETF market will continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of investors and if the past year is any indication, investors are looking for opportunities and increasingly using ETFs for their market exposure.

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How to use thematic investing in your portfolio

Nov 02, 2020

Thematic investing exposes your portfolio to some of the major socioeconomic, environmental and technological themes of our times in a tailored way. So what does this actually mean and how can you use thematic investing in your portfolio? Download the whitepaper, here. What is thematic investing? Thematic portfolios look at long-term macro trends, such as robotics and automation, and then use various screens and information sources to identify the companies or assets which support this trend through infrastructure or services. It can span several sectors or even asset classes, for example, a thematic investment in technology is likely to include companies within the technology sector as well as those in other sectors which access this trend, such as Amazon or Netflix. Investment themes should be: Universal rather than specific to just one company or region1. Sustainable over longer periods, in some cases 20 years or more. Based on known patterns and pressures2. Some examples of well documented themes include virtual connectivity, ecommerce, biotechnology, the growth of the middle-class in Asia and climate change. How to use thematic investing in your portfolio Thematic investments are versatile and can be used in a range of ways, such as: To complement the equities component in the core of a portfolio. As a tactical tilt in the satellite portion of a portfolio towards trends or for growth. As a diversification tool to broaden from typical assets in a portfolio core. Whichever way investors choose to incorporate thematic investing within their portfolios, they should still consider the suitability for themselves and their portfolio, along with the risks involved - including risks that may be specific to a particular theme. Investors can consider a variety of options to access themes in their portfolios, such as: Direct shares in companies associated with a theme. Actively managed funds. Exchange traded funds (ETFs). Investors should be aware of different fees, minimum investments, brokerage, tax implications and W-8 BEN forms for some investments. There are different risks and benefits to using any of these approaches. Thematic investments offer investors the chance to be an active participant in the major forces driving human progress. They can also be the opportunity for investors to incorporate their passions within their investments, or even to have the potential of holding the ‘next big thing’ in a more manageable format. The increasing availability of tailored thematic investments in the market means they are more accessible than ever for investors to consider their suitability and fit for their needs, goals and portfolios. For more information on using thematic investments, please speak to ETF Securities. Client Services Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: infoAU@etfsecurities.com.au 1 https://www.stockbasket.com/investmans-playbook/thematic-investment-ideas 2 https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/ws/v1/download?pid=csiro:EP126135&dsid=DS2

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Three reasons to invest in the vaccines of tomorrow

Jun 24, 2020

Technology is not just transforming the way we work and live, it is also saving lives and changing how we treat diseases. The biotechnology industry may be appealing from a social and moral perspective, but it is also trending for future growth. Download the full article What is biotechnology? Biotechnology is a sub-industry of the healthcare sector and specifically refers to technologies that use biological processes, capturing companies that focus on research, development, manufacturing and/or marketing of products based on biological and genetic information. The different types of biotechnology include biological drugs, vaccines, immunotherapy, gene therapy, orphan drugs and genetic engineering. This industry has hit the headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, with companies like Moderna and Gilead part of the race to find effective vaccines and treatments. Why consider investing in global biotechnology? A growth industry backed by demand from an increasing population (and the trend of an aging population) a. Biotechnology is predicted to be valued at more than US$729bn by 2025, compared to US$295bn today[1]. b. The industry will benefit from increased spending in healthcare. The US, for example, is expected to average 5.4% annual increases in national health spending through to 2028[2]. Diversification in your portfolio a. Biotechnology in the US is valued at approximately 14.2x the Australian industry[3]. b. Biotechnology can be lucrative but is also high risk, so spreading internationally across a number of companies can assist in managing these risks. The chance to invest in something ‘bigger’, incorporating social themes into your portfolio a. The opportunity to be a backer for more efficient future health treatments, a social good with the potential to generate growth. How to invest in biotechnology? You could consider direct shares or managed options. Direct shares may be a riskier option due to the high failure rates of drug testing and long periods of development. Managed options such as ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX code: CURE) may offer broader exposure across a number of companies. For more information about investing in biotechnology, click here or contact us using the details below. Investor Relations Institutional Trades Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: infoAU@etfsecurities.com.au Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: capitalmarkets@etfsecurities.com.au [1] https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/biotechnology-market [2] https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/finance/national-health-spending-growth-projected-54-annually-through-2028 [3] https://www.ibisworld.com/au/industry/biotechnology/1901/

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Three megatrends and how to invest

Mar 09, 2020

To access the white paper, please click the download now button above. Investors considering growth in the portfolio may find megatrends offer an alternative and sustainable long-term approach. So, what are megatrends and how can you invest in them? Megatrends are universal socioeconomic, environmental or technological forces that change the way we do things . These trends tend to be sustained over longer periods, in some cases, 20 years or more and based on known patterns and pressures . Investing in megatrends has become increasingly accessible in recent times. A range of ETFs have appeared in the market to target specific trends and incorporate a wide range of companies in that area. Three examples of megatrends follow. 1. Virtual connectivity and digitisation The internet is becoming faster and cheaper to access, with close to 60% of the world’s population already users . There are a range of opportunities following from the movement online, such as ecommerce or online entertainment and gaming. Even data storage and security are becoming major concerns. Access to this megatrend can be broadly through sectors like technology that service and fuel this trend, regions with companies dominating this trend, such as the US or across Asia, or via niche subthemes like robotics and artificial intelligence. 2. The growth of the Asian middle-class Two-thirds of the world’s middle-class population are expected to reside across Asia by 2030 and this offers potential for a range of industries, such as luxury goods, tourism, education and healthcare. Many global players have turned their focus to targeting consumers in this region, while regionally based companies like Alibaba or Infosys Ltd are well positioned for future growth. Investors can consider sectors like healthcare which will benefit from the growth or take a more concentrated approach by investing across Asia or within specific countries, like India. 3. Limited resources Ongoing population growth and climate change are placing pressure on available resources including minerals, energy, water and food sources. This has forced an evolution in terms of new products, how we consume and how companies interact with us. Renewable energy and battery storage is one area tipped to grow off the back of this megatrend. Many larger corporations have also started to adjust their operations too, for example, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged $10bn to fight climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund . Investors may consider sub-themes like battery technology or electric cars, or they could consider industries which may experience higher demand on the basis of restricted resources like agriculture. For more information on the solutions ETF Securities offers, please contact us on: Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: sales@etfsecurities.com.au Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: primarymarkets@etfsecurities.com.au

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