Synthetic Biology: What It Is and Why 'ARKG' Is So Levered to It

The DNA sequencing and genomics markets move fast. Good news for investors: the ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG) is up to speed.

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 health care, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals in the process.

As ARK research points out, yet another emerging opportunity within the genomics space is synthetic biology (SynBio).

“Synthetic biology (SynBio) is a rapidly growing field of science that engineers organisms and biomolecules with novel properties not found in nature,” according to the issuer. “Central to SynBio is the ability to assemble DNA from its four canonical bases (A, T, G, and C), creating oligonucleotides or ‘oligos’, for many healthcare applications. Diagnosticians use synthetic oligos, for example, to calibrate and verify the performance of both PCR and sequencing-based tests for COVID-19.”

A New Frontier for ‘ARKG’

ARKG’s primary focus is to seek long-term growth of capital via active management. The fund invests primarily in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies across multiple sectors, including healthcare, information technology, materials, energy, and consumer discretionary.

“Analyzing nature, researchers  recently discovered another SynBio solution—enzymatic DNA synthesis. More specifically, by engineering an enzyme called terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) in immature human B- and T-cells, scientists are hoping to create oligos more cost effectively and accurately than with the phosphoramidite method, free of byproducts,” notes ARK. “Many biologists speculate that the enzymatic method could yield high-quality oligos that are much longer than those produced by phosphoramidite synthesis and could be vital to the research proliferating in cell and gene therapies.”

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

ARKG helps investors take on thematic multi-capitalization exposure to innovative elements that cover advancements in gene therapy bio-informatics, bio-inspired computing, molecular medicine, and pharmaceutical innovations. These advancements can also translate over to growth potential, potentially providing investors with long-term alpha with low correlation relative to traditional growth strategies.

“In our view, enzymatic DNA synthesis is progressing beyond proof-of-concept. In the not-too-distant future, SynBio vendors are likely to embrace enzymatic synthesis as an environmentally friendly way to supply the world’s insatiable appetite for DNA,” concludes ARK.

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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.