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Play US Gene Treatment Approval in SBIO

Tech has been a big driver of market resilience this year, with AI specifically boosting earnings for all kinds of companies. That said, technology isn’t just moving forward in software. Technology also includes biotech, with a potentially similar event to ChatGPT’s explosive arrival in the cards. The U.S. government appears poised to approve a gene treatment for sickle cell patients that would involve gene editing technology like CRISPR.

Exa-cel, developed by CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, would be the first treatment using CRISPR in the U.S. Such a move would follow approval in the United Kingdom for the treatment under a different brand name.

So how does CRISPR work? The CRISPR system produces an enzyme, Cas9, that can bind to a segment of DNA and cut it, turning it off. Some researchers have even found that modified versions of the enzyme can “activate” certain genes instead of cutting, opening up huge avenues for research.

See more: “Innovation Could Propel Biotechnology Bounce

Future treatments may not only be more targeted and accurate in editing DNA, they may unlock treatments for health problems and diseases like high cholesterol and leukemia. Perhaps, in time, it may even be able to splice in different DNA via CRISPR systems, like “prime editing.”

SBIO’s Investing Approach, Biotech, and Gene Treatment

Gene treatment unlocks an entirely new field of medicine, and could drive significant growth in biotech. As such, investors could consider a biotech ETF like the ALPS Medical Breakthroughs ETF (SBIO). The fund charges 50 basis points to track the S-Network Medical Breakthroughs Index, a market-cap-weighted index of U.S.-listed biotech firms with one or more drugs in Phase II or Phase III FDA trials. It limits itself to firms with market caps between $200 million and $5 billion, screening for two years of cash on hand.

That approach has seen its performance spike over the last month, returning 7.2% in that time. For investors looking for a different angle on gene treatment, SBIO and its biotech focus may appeal.

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