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Barclays Will Launch its First Nasdaq-Based Exchange Fund

Barclays Global Investors of San Francisco will launch its first exchange-traded fund that tracks a Nasdaq index sometime in January, according to a preliminary prospectus the company filed with the SEC Oct. 19.

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund will track biotechnology and health stocks included in the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, said Kerry Steele, a company spokesperson. Companies included in the index use biomedical research for the discovery or development of new treatments and cures for disease, according to the prospectus.

Barclays launched a similar fund in June. The iShares Dow Jones Healthcare Sector Index Fund tracks healthcare providers, biotechnology companies and medical supply manufacturers listed on the index. Since its inception, the fund has had a 10.64 percent return, according to the company.

Barclays Global Investors offers over 50 exchange-traded funds tied to various indexes, but none included in the Nasdaq. Barclays Global Advisors, also of San Francisco, will be the fund's adviser and the fund will be listed on the American Stock Exchange.

Barclays iShares have approximately $5 million in assets under management, said Steele.