CRISPR Therapeutics CRSP is a leading gene editing company, focused on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies to treat hemoglobinopathies, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Genomic editing, using the CRISPR technology to repair a defective disease-causing genetic material, is one of the most promising and exciting healthcare innovations till date. There are only a handful of companies making medicines using this revolutionary technology and CRISPR Therapeutics is one of them.
The company’s lead pipeline candidate, exagamglogene autotemcel (exa-cel), is being developed in collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX in late-stage studies to treat transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (TDT) and sickle cell disease (SCD).
Currently, CRISPR Therapeutics has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Below, we discuss four reasons why adding CRISPR Therapeutics stock to your portfolio may prove beneficial in 2023.
Favorable Share Price Movement: Encouraging development of gene editing therapies has enabled the company to outperform the industry. Shares of the company have rallied 9.4% in the year-to-date period against the industry’s 6% decline.
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Exa-cel Studies Progressing Well: Exa-cel is CRISPR’s lead product candidate, being developed in partnership with Vertex. In November 2022, both the companies started a rolling biologics licensing application (BLA) submission with the FDA, seeking approval for exa-cel in SCD and TDT indications. The companies expect to complete the submission by the end of the first quarter of 2023. Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics have also filed similar submissions on exa-cel in Europe and the United Kingdom.
If approved, exa-cel will be the first CRISPR-based therapy in the world. Also, the company expects to start recording sales from this product candidate in early 2024.
Immuno-Oncology Programs Picking Up Pace: CRISPR is also developing two chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy candidates — CTX110 and CTX130 — for haematological and solid-tumor cancers.
CTX110 is the company’s lead immune-oncology product candidate. Management is evaluating the safety and efficacy of CTX130 in two ongoing phase I studies for treating solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma and B-cell hematologic malignancies. The preliminary data from both the studies has been encouraging.
CRSP plans to start early-stage studies on new CAR-T candidates, CTX112 (targeting CD19 antigen) and CTX131 (targeting CD70 antigen), in the first half of 2023.
Encouraging Collaboration Contracts: CRISPR has entered into collaboration contracts for developing gene editing therapies for treating cancer and various neurological conditions. Its partnership with Vertex in 2015 has been expanding ever since.
Apart from exa-cel, both the companies are also working on developing therapies in cystic fibrosis, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1). The company’s top line is mainly driven by collaboration revenues and milestone payments from Vertex.
CRISPR has partnered with ViaCyte to develop/commercialize gene-edited allogeneic stem cell therapies for treating diabetes. It has also collaborated with Nkarta to develop gene-editing natural killer cell product candidates.
Conclusion: In the absence of a marketed product, the company is solely dependent on Vertex for collaboration revenues. Competition is a concern since other companies in the market are also developing gene-editing therapies. One such company is Editas Medicine EDIT. EDIT’s lead candidate EDIT-301 is also being developed to treat SCD and TDT indications. The said candidate of EDIT is in early-stage development. Exa-cel development remains the key driver for CRISPR’s growth. Collaboration revenues and milestone payments boost the company’s top line.
CRISPR Therapeutics AG Price and Consensus
CRISPR Therapeutics AG price-consensus-chart | CRISPR Therapeutics AG Quote
Another Stock to Consider
Another top-ranked stock in the same sector is Jasper Therapeutics JSPR, holding a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
JSPR’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $1.42 to 61 cents for 2023 and from $1.6 to 59 cents for 2024, in the past 60 days. Jasper Therapeutics’ stock has surged 310.1% in the year-to-date period.
Jasper’s earnings beat estimates in three of the last four quarters and met the mark in one, the average surprise being 3.51%.
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