Genomics is a fast-growing, rapidly evolving industry and the ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG) is a prime example of an exchange traded fund that’s nimble enough to capture that evolution.

ARKG includes companies that merge healthcare with technology to 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 healthcare, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals in the process.

Next generation sequencing (NGS), including long read DNA, is an example of an evolving frontier ARKG puts investors at the forefront of.

“Now that the clinical community is capitalizing on their speed and scale, ARK believes that the shortcomings of SRS-generated data are becoming more obvious. BRCA1 and BRCA2, for example, have been two of the most widely studied hereditary genes associated with cancer,” writes ARK Invest analyst Simon Barnett.

Understanding the Long Read Opportunity

Long read sequencing has the potential to drastically improve patient outcomes. The technology can be used in treatment and detection of rare and genetic diseases, as well as an avenue to improve pediatric care, among others.

“Last year, Mary-Claire King, who discovered BRCA’s link to breast cancer, applied long-read sequencing (LRS) and CRISPR/Cas9 targeting to BRACA1,” notes Barnett. “In doing so, she discovered a hidden, pathogenic structural variant (SV) within the non-coding (intronic) region of BRCA1. King’s team remarked that SRS is ‘…of limited use for identifying complex insertions and deletions and other structural [variants].’”

ARK previously said long read revenue will experience exponential rates of growth as costs decline, making it easier for healthcare professionals to deploy the technology. That’s a long-term positive for ARKG investors.

The sequencing itself may also be outshining its short read counterpart.

“In our view, the bias and lower resolution associated with SRS has forced researchers into complex clinical workflows that cannot match the comprehensiveness and standardization that LRS offers.  Indeed, one leading clinical lab has underwritten the R&D risk of creating an ultra-high-throughput LRS platform to increase accuracy, eliminate cost centers, and simplify downstream analysis. In our view, at some point in the not-too-distant future, clinicians will be focused not on the higher costs associated with LRS but instead on the opportunity costs associated with SRS,” concludes Barnett.

ARKG YTD Performance

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.