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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

Editas Medicine to Participate in Upcoming Investor Conference

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

October 1, 2020 GMT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Editas Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: EDIT), a leading genome editing company, today announced that management will participate in the following upcoming investor conference:

Chardan Virtual 4th Annual Genetic Medicines Conference
Fireside Chat
Date: Monday, October 5, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. ET

The event will be webcast live and may be accessed on the Editas Medicine website in the Investors and Media section. Archived recordings will be available for approximately 30 days following the event.

About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cas12a (also known as Cpf1) genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. For the latest information and scientific presentations, please visit www.editasmedicine.com.

Investor Contact
Mark Mullikin
(617) 401-9083
[email protected]

Media Contact
Cristi Barnett
(617) 401-0113
[email protected]

Source Article

Better Buy: CRISPR Therapeutics vs. Editas Medicine

You can’t use traditional means to compare CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) and Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) because they are emerging biotech companies with little revenue, and several years between their current efforts and any form of profitability.

Both of these companies are developing medicines that edit genes, using the same CRISPR technology. The system is capable of eliminating mutated DNA that cause a particular disease, such as sickle-cell anemia, some types of blindness, or Alzheimer’s.

The potential for CRISPR gene-editing is enormous. A study by Market Insights puts the global gene therapy market at $18.1 billion by 2027, giving it a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.7%. Figuring out which gene-editing biotech to invest in depends less on their fundamentals and more on which one seems most capable of developing marketable therapies based on the available technology.

Hands of scientists working with test tubes in a laboratory.

Image source: Getty Images.

The case for CRISPR

CRISPR Therapeutics has certainly been kinder to shareholders since January. Its share price is up over 37% year to date, while the share price for Editas has been flat. Much of the enthusiasm surrounding CRISPR Therapeutics stems from two of its therapies that have shown progress this year.

The first is CTX001, which CRISPR has been developing with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) as a treatment for two genetic blood disorders: severe sickle cell disease (SCD) and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). According to CRISPR Therapeutics, CTX001 edits a patient’s stem cells from within their bone marrow and instructs those cells to produce high levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) in their red blood cells. HbF, a hemoglobin that carries oxygen, is present at birth but is replaced with the adult form of hemoglobin by the body as we age. The thought is fetal HbF will eliminate the need for transfusion in TDT patients and will help reduce the number of sickle crises experienced by SCD patients.

CTX001 is in two phase 1/2 trials: CLIMB-111 and CLIMB-121. CLIMB-111 involves five TDT patients and CLIMB-121 has enrolled two SCD patients. While the sample sizes are obviously small, the company says that all seven patients so far have achieved blood platelet engraftment. Based on those results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given CTX001 Orphan Drug and Fast Track Designation for both SCD and TDT.

CRISPR Therapeutics listed only $44,000 in collaborative revenue in the second quarter, but the important number is the company’s $945 million in cash reserves. At the company’s cash burn rate, these reserves can last nearly three years before the company needs an infusion of cash or a profitable therapy.

CRSP Chart

CRSP data by YCharts

The case for Editas Medicine

On Aug. 25, the FDA granted Editas Medicine’s therapy, EDIT-301, rare pediatric disease (RPD) designation to treat sickle cell disease. That means the company gets a voucher from the FDA to receive a priority review on a different drug or therapy. The FDA does this to encourage research into medications that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

Like CRISPR, Editas is getting help from