In March, independent investor Brad Loncar unveiled a homebrewed stock index, created to track the red-hot cancer immunotherapy field. If he gets his way, there will soon be a publicly traded fund to go with it.
Loncar, who lives in the Kansas City suburb of Lenexa, KS, announced this morning his index will form the basis of an exchange-traded fund, or ETF, run by a fund manager called Exchange Traded Concepts. If it passes regulatory muster, the fund will trade on the Nasdaq just like a stock. Anyone cleared to buy and sell stocks would be able to do the same with the immunotherapy ETF, Loncar told Xconomy. In other words, those investors would be betting on Loncar’s judgment and analysis of the emerging and highly complex immunotherapy field, which is front and center this week at the annual American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. (Xconomy will round up the ASCO news later this week.)
Loncar is aiming to launch the fund in the second half of 2015. As of this writing, his index was up about 10 percent since its debut in mid-March. It consists of the stocks of 25 companies and is weighted heavily toward small and midcap biotechs. A list of the companies and their weightings is here. (Fair disclosure: Loncar has contributed op-ed articles to Xconomy in the past.)
According to the Exchange Traded Concepts website, the Edmond, OK-based firm has already partnered to launch 15 funds, including ones that focus on robotics and automation, Internet and e-commerce, and energy infrastructure.
Loncar (pictured) said his eponymous index will form the backbone of the fund: “It is the fund’s job to match the return of the index, so they will try to buy exactly the same stocks in exactly the same weighting.”
If it is successful, Loncar would like to try his hand in other therapeutic areas. “For example, I would love to do a rare diseases fund,” he said.
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