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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Emergent BioSolutions, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Editas Medicine, Cellectis and Thermo Fisher

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 13, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Emergent BioSolutions Inc. EBS, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated VRTX, Editas Medicine, Inc. EDIT, Cellectis S.A. CLLS and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Booming Gene Editing Market to Pep Up These 5 Biotech Stocks

The biotech space has been booming in the past decade, with areas like gene editing stealing the show as they increase scope for treating life-threatening diseases. Gene editing or genome engineering is a process in which a DNA is inserted, modified or replaced in the genome of any living organism. In recent years, scientists have been using gene editing technology to help treat diseases with a genomic basis, like cystic fibrosis, diabetes and cancer.

CRISPR or “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” is a tool primarily used to edit genes at present. Many scientists believe that this year could be a breakthrough in finding cures for cancer in DNA and investors could get familiar with terms like CRISPR and precision medicine to make the most out of advancements in this space.

Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak has pushed scientists to look for a cure through gene editing, as this novel virus keeps wreaking havoc and claiming millions of lives globally.

Disruptive Biotech Making a Mark in 2020

Cancer has been the second-leading cause of death in the United States over the past few years. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, nearly 599,108 people lost their lives due to cancer in 2019. Gene editing has now opened up ways in which alterations in the DNA will allow patients to train their body to destroy life-threatening tumors.

Additionally, utilization of order writing techniques to rewrite infected cells and tissues, and removal of harmful mutations are also expected to boost this space. Several biotech firms are now using immuno-oncology treatments in which the immuno-oncology class of drugs teach or direct the immune system to identify cancer and then destroy it. In fact, techniques like correction within the harmful mutations, disruption of infectious agent in the DNA, or the addition of therapeutic transgenes are boosting the gene editing market.

According to Emergen Research report, the global gene editing market is projected to reach $15.79 billion by 2027 from $4.44 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 17.2%.

One of the recent gene editing tools worth mentioning is the PAC-MAN or Prophylactic Antiviral CRISPR in human cells tool. Stanford University scientists have developed an antiviral agent against the novel coronavirus that can target and destroy specific genetic strands of the virus inside the human cell itself. The PAC-MAN which is composed of an enzyme and a strand of guide RNA has provided promising results in the laboratory when tested on human lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2.        

2020

CNN medical analyst: I’d perform psychiatric evaluation on Trump if he were my patient

Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and visiting professor at George Washington University, said she would perform a psychiatric evaluation on President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE if he were her patient and left the hospital while still infected with the novel coronavirus “to go for a car ride.”

“If @realDonaldTrump were my patient, in unstable condition + contagious illness, & he suddenly left the hospital to go for a car ride that endangers himself & others: I’d call security to restrain him then perform a psychiatric evaluation to examine his decision-making capacity,” she tweeted on late Sunday.

Earlier Sunday, Trump, who was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment last week after confirming he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGOP lawmaker calls on Pelosi to apologize for response to Trump contracting coronavirus White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events Photo of Mark Meadows rubbing his head during update on Trump’s health goes viral MORE tested positive for coronavirus, was seen riding in a motorcade and waving at supporters during a “surprise” trip around the hospital.

Trump and Secret Service agents were seen wearing masks inside the vehicle. 

Deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said Trump “took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed.”

The official added that “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

Deere declined to say if the president requested the move. 

The drive-by sparked criticism online from those who said the move put others who rode in the vehicle with Trump  at unnecessary risk. 

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. This is insanity.”

Wen previously served as president of Planned Parenthood before being removed from the organization last year due to “philosophical differences” she said she had with new board chairs “over the direction and future” of the organization. She was the first physician to head Planned Parenthood in years.

–Updated at 7:47 a.m.