WisdomTree launches ‘BioRevolution’ thematic ETF in Europe

Dec 13th, 2021 | By | Category: Equities

WisdomTree has launched a new thematic equity ETF in Europe providing exposure to companies poised to benefit from advancements in genetics and biotechnology.

Dr. Jamie Metzl

Dr. Jamie Metzl.

The WisdomTree BioRevolution UCITS ETF has been listed on London Stock Exchange in US dollars (Ticker: WDNA LN) and pound sterling (WBIO LN) and on Deutsche Börse Xetra in euros (WRNA GY).

The ETF’s underlying reference index is the proprietary WisdomTree BioRevolution ESG Screened Index which was developed in collaboration with prominent technology futurist Dr. Jamie Metzl, author of Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity.

The index selects its constituents from a universe of developed market stocks with market capitalizations greater than $300 million and average daily trading volumes above $1m.

WisdomTree first enacts its generic ESG screening, removing companies that are violators of UN Global Compact principles as well as those involved in controversial weapons, tobacco, or thermal coal.

The methodology identifies companies that derive at least 50% of their revenue from industries linked to four ‘BioRevolution’ sub-themes: ‘Human Health’ – the application of genetic technologies to prevent and treat disease; ‘Agriculture and Food’ – the transformation of agriculture, aquaculture, and food production; ‘Materials, Chemicals, and Energy’ – biological re-engineering used to produce an increasing percentage of the physical inputs needed for manufacturing; and ‘Biological Machines and Interfaces’ – DNA as a storage solution.

The index employs a modified, equally-weighted approach whereby an index committee makes strategic decisions – effectively, active determinations – regarding the weight allocated to the sub-themes and stocks based on quantitative and qualitative criteria. Rebalancing occurs semi-annually in April and October.

As of 9 December, approximately 80% of the total index weight was allocated to stocks listed in the US and 85% was dedicated to the health care sector. The index was well-diversified at the stock level with the largest constituent having a weight of 1.8%.

The fund comes with an expense ratio of 0.45%. Income is accumulated within the portfolio.

Dr. Jamie Metzl commented: “The genetics and biotechnology revolutions won’t just change our healthcare systems, allowing us to live healthier and longer lives. They will also fundamentally transform our world far beyond healthcare. The same technologies driving healthcare innovation will have a seismic impact on industries including agriculture, materials, energy, and information processing, revolutionizing the ways we treat disease, grow food, produce materials, and process data. If the nineteenth was the century of chemistry and the twentieth of physics, the twenty-first will be the century of biology. I am delighted to be collaborating with the amazing team at WisdomTree and uncovering some of the opportunities presented by this historic megatrend.”

Chris Gannatti, Global Head of Research, WisdomTree, added: “The biology revolution is creating a historic investment opportunity equivalent to the industrial and internet revolutions. Advancements in biotechnology could represent the greatest innovations of our lifetime. The biology revolution has huge potential to address and mitigate some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today whether that be climate change, food scarcity, or controlling diseases and pandemics. New and transformative innovations could have a profound impact on society and the environment, improving the quality of life for many.”

WDNA is the fifth ETF in WisdomTree’s thematics UCITS range which houses a collective $1.8bn in assets under management and includes funds providing exposure to artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security, and battery technology investment themes.

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