Long Read DNA Sequencing Ready for its Moment. That's Big for this ETF

Count long read DNA sequencing among the growing list of catalysts for the ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG).


Long DNA is a new frontier in the genomics space, but it’s applications are critical given the role genetics play in treating an array of diseases.

“Researchers estimate that roughly 70% of rare diseases are genetic, most of which have been difficult to diagnose. Without genomic analysis, children with rare diseases and their families typically enter arduous and expensive diagnostic odysseys that can take years,” according to ARK Research.

ARKG includes companies that merge healthcare with technology and capitalize on the revolution in genomic sequencing. These companies try to better understand how biological information is collected, processed and applied by reducing guesswork and enhancing precision; restructuring health care, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and enhancing our quality of life.

ARKG’s Long Read Exposure

All ARKG components provide exposure to compelling areas of the healthcare space, but some of its holdings offer exposure to long read DNA, a trait lacking in many traditional ARKG rivals.

“Illumina (ILMN) collaborated with researchers at Rady Children’s Hospital to develop a rapid whole genome sequencing (rWGS) service to address this unmet need. As sequencing costs fell and artificial intelligence (AI) proliferated, the collaboration evolved into Project Baby Bear—a pilot study of rWGS’ clinical utility and health economics in the pediatric rare disease setting,” notes ARK Invest research.

Next generation DNA sequencing could set the stage for a new era in medicine given its accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and soon—affordability.

ARKG tracks equity securities of companies across multiple sectors, including health care, information technology, materials, energy and consumer discretionary, that are relevant to the Fund’s investment theme of the genomics revolution.

The active management team behind the ARKG strategy combines a top-down and bottom-up research methodology to identify innovative companies and convergence across markets.

“While the breakthroughs are remarkable to date, ARK believes that long-read DNA sequencing could advance the diagnoses of rare and other diseases at warp speed,” according to ARK. “A 2019 study argued that short-read sequencing data diagnoses rare diseases at <50% rate, even when aided by advanced analytics. In our view, the main reason is that short-read systems cannot sequence adequately larger mutations that cause many genetic disorders, such as copy number variants (CNVs).”

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