General Industry Update

Danish drugmakers, and especially Novo Nordisk (held by the Fund), are driving that country’s economic growth, leading Denmark’s central bank to raise its national growth forecasts. Danish GDP is expected to expand by 1.7% in 2023, up from the previous estimate of 0.9%. In 2024 and 2025, the Danish economy is now projected to grow by 1.3%, bettering previous forecasts of 1.2%.

With Novo Nordisk at the forefront, the Danish pharmaceutical industry accounts for about 5% of the country’s economy. Novo Nordisk itself recently upgraded its 2023 profit outlook due to high demand for its weight-loss drug, Wegovy, especially in the US.¹ Current estimates by Barclay’s put the global market for this class of weight loss drug (known as GLP-1 agonists) at more than $100 billion by 2030

Central bank governor Christian Kettel Thomsen emphasized that with the contributions from Novo Nordisk and other pharmaceutical manufacturers, Danish economic growth in the coming years will be much stronger that would otherwise be expected. The latest data reveals a 1.7% year-over-year expansion in Danish GDP, with a potential 0.3% contraction in the same time frame if not for the booming Danish pharmaceutical industry.³

In future-looking news, AI continues to pay dividends in pharmaceutical research, as for the first time, scientists have used AI to detect and predict Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks and strokes from patients’ retinal imaging.

Researchers have unveiled an AI tool, RETFound, designed to identify eye diseases and predict health risks like Parkinson’s, heart attacks, and strokes based on retinal imaging. The eye’s retina offers a non-invasive window into a patient’s nervous system and capillary network, which are crucial for proper functioning of the brain, heart, and kidneys.

To develop RETFound, researchers employed a dataset of 1.6 million retinal scan images from Moorfields Eye Hospital. RETFound is among the first such large AI “foundation models” in healthcare and is the world’s first in ophthalmology.

Testing shows that RETFound consistently outperforms other AIs across complex clinical tasks, especially excelling in diagnosing within diverse populations and in patients with rare diseases. Notably, it achieves label efficiency, needing only 10% of the dataset labels required by other AI systems, thanks to an innovative self-supervising approach. Labelling datasets is usually a laborious and time-intensive task for human researchers and has created research bottlenecks in the past.⁴

Company Specific Updates

Veralto Corp

The spinoff of Veralto from Danaher Corporation was formally completed at the end of September. Veralto was created from the Environmental & Applied Solutions segment of Danaher. Danaher stockholders (including the Fund) received common stock of Veralto at a ratio of 1:3 for every three shares of Danaher held as of EOB September 13, 2023.⁵

Veralto begins life as a $5 billion global leader in essential technologies, focusing on innovation around protecting vital resources, especially water. Veralto’s mission is to help create a safer, cleaner future.⁶

Amgen Inc

Amgen unveiled promising data in September from a Phase 1b study of their drug Lumakras (sotorasib) for patients with a specific type of advanced lung cancer (KRAS G12C-mutated non-small cell lung cancer or NSCLC). The study results were presented at a conference in Singapore.

In the first-line treatment group (20 patients), an impressive 65% of patients showed a confirmed objective response, with all achieving disease control. For those in the second-line treatment group (13 patients), a 54% objective response rate was observed, with an 85% disease control rate. These responses appeared rapidly and were durable, although the long-term survival data is still pending.

Amgen is encouraged by these results and is initiating a Phase 3 study to further investigate the drug’s potential in advanced lung cancer. The three-drug combination treatment tested demonstrated a similar safety profile to each therapy on its own, and no fatal adverse events were reported.

This development represents a significant step in the ongoing battle against this type of lung cancer, which has historically been challenging to treat.⁷

LIFE ETF: Investing in Global Healthcare

Investing in ETFs can be one way to add cutting-edge healthcare to your portfolio.

Evolve Global Healthcare Enhanced Yield Fund (LIFE ETF) provides investors with exposure to twenty global blue-chip companies in the healthcare industry, with a covered call strategy that is actively managed to provide increased yield potential while helping mitigate risk. For more information about the Evolve Global Healthcare Enhanced Yield Fund or any of Evolve ETF’s lineup of exchange-traded funds, please visit our website or contact us.

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, Veralto Corp made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Amgen Inc and AbbVie Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Novo Nordisk A/S, followed by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc and Danaher Corporation.



  1. Wass, S., “Danish Central Bank Raises GDP Forecasts Through 2025 on Pharma,” BNN Bloomberg, September 20, 2023;
  2. Woods, B., “Big pharma’s blockbuster obesity drug battle is just getting started, and it’s headed for $100 billion,” CNBC, September 9, 2023;
  3. Wass, S., “Danish Central Bank Raises GDP Forecasts Through 2025 on Pharma,” BNN Bloomberg, September 20, 2023;
  4. Barber, D., “Eye-scanning AI predicts and detects disease in world-first, study suggests,” Health Data research UK, September 15, 2023;
  5. “Danaher Corporation Completes Separation of Veralto Corporation,” Danaher, September 30, 2023;
  6. “Purpose and values,” Veralto, n.d.;
  7. “Amgen Presents New Lumakras® (Sotorasib) Plus Chemotherapy Data In First-Line KRAS G12C NSCLC at WCLC,” Amgen, September 10, 2023;
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