Daily ETF Watch: Cancer Therapy Fund Debuts

October 14, 2015

Today saw the launch of an ETF covering a very specific slice of the market—companies that are focused on developing immunotherapy treatments aimed at curing cancer. The Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR) is the first ETF to cover that space.

Immunotherapy is a growing area of the pharmaceutical field that seeks to treat diseases by evoking a specific response by the patient’s own immune system.

CNCR’s underlying index is equal-weighted and requires that the components have had a cancer immunotherapy drug approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S. or Europe, have such a drug that is in human-stage trials, have said that they have such a drug in human-stage testing or said that they have teamed up to develop such a drug with a major pharmaceutical firm, the fund’s prospectus said. The index was developed by Brad Loncar, head of Loncar Investments and a biotechnology investor, according to the press release.

The fund evokes memories of the long-defunct HealthShares ETFs that targeted similarly specific slices of the health care market with roughly 20 funds before fizzling out within a year. However, that was several years ago, and numerous niche funds have since found success in the ETF space since then.

CNCR listed on the Nasdaq and comes with an expense ratio of 0.79 percent.

7 Funds Switch Exchange, Indexes

Yesterday, seven of First Trust’s AlphaDex ETFs were suspended from the NYSE Arca exchange and began trading on the Nasdaq stock market with new indexes. The indexes still carry the AlphaDex brand name, but now it comes after the Nasdaq brand.

All seven of the funds cover different regions:

The ETFs’ underlying indexes appear to have stayed largely the same, branding aside. They still rely on First Trust’s AlphaDex selection methodology and use a modified equal-dollar-weighting approach, but now Nasdaq is the index provider instead of S&P Dow Jones Indices.


Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].

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