Healthcare Business

NASDAQ Changes Up Biotech Index Members & Weightings

Jon C. Ogg

Index changes are generally speaking a fairly routine event.  They can also create underlying moves in the companies added and deleted from them as money management firms often buy and sell shares, as do exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and speculators gaming index changes. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index has announced some changes.  The biotech sector has seen its share of mergers, as well as a rise and fall in many underlying names in this volatile sector.These changes will become effective prior to the market open on Monday, May 21, 2012.

The following ten securities will be added to the Index: Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS), Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLDX), Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.(Nasdaq: FOLD), Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: INFI), Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ), Omeros Corporation (Nasdaq: OMER), Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX), Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX), Raptor Pharmaceutical Corporation (Nasdaq: RPTP), and Trius Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSRX).

The following members will be booted from the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index: BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: BPAX), China Biologic Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBPO), Columbia Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRX), Cardiome Pharma Corp (Nasdaq: CRME) and DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX).

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index tracks the performance of a set of NASDAQ-listed securities that are classified as either biotechnology or pharmaceutical and it is re-ranked twice a year (May/November).

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (NASDAQ: IBB) ETF has more than $1.8 billion in assets and it aims to track the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index per its description.  SPDR S&P Biotech (AMEX: XBI) has more than $500 million in assets tracks the biotech members ranked by S&P, but there are some overlaps in the indexes. Market Vectors Biotech ETF (AMEX: BBH) has only just over $100 million in assets and tracks the  Market Vectors US Listed Biotech 25 Index.

JON C. OGG