Biotechnology ETFs Rally on Sarepta FDA Drug Approval

Sarepta Therapeutics (NasdaqGS: SRPT) surged Monday and lifted biotechnology-related exchange traded funds after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen.

Leading the charge in the ETF space on Monday, the BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund (NasdaqGM: BBC) increased 2.2%, PowerShares DWA Healthcare Momentum Portfolio (NYSEArca: PTH) gained 3.8% and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI) rose 1.9%. Meanwhile, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGS: IBB), the largest biotech ETF by assets, was up 0.1%.

SEE MORE: A Battered Biotech ETF can Rise Again

The biotech segment strengthened after Sarepta gained approval for the first therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that mainly affects young boys. The FDA approved the drug under its “accelerated approval” program, which can make the drugs available for sale if there are signs of improvements among patients while more study is conducted, reports Anna Edney for Bloomberg.

“Accelerated approval makes this drug available to patients based on initial data, but we eagerly await learning more about the efficacy of this drug through a confirmatory clinical trial that the company must conduct after approval,” Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.


SRPT surged 76.6% Monday on the FDA’s approval. SRPT makes up 1.7% of BBC’s underlying holdings, 4.1% of PTH’s portfolio and 2.3% of XBI.