CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) stock rose 5% on news that the U.K. gave conditional marketing authority to its gene therapy for sickle cell anemia. It’s the first authorization in the world for the CRISPR gene-editing technology.
Casgevy is now authorized in the U.K. for some patients with sickle cell disease ( ) or beta thalassemia. These are inherited blood conditions caused by errors in genes for producing hemoglobin, used by red blood cells to move oxygen in the body.
At the time of writing, CRSP stock is trading at about $59.10 per share, representing a market capitalization of $4.5 billion. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), CRISPR’s development partner, is up 1% at the time of writing.
Big CRISPR News
CRISPR was founded in 2013 by a team that included Emmanuelle Charpentier. She shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a method of gene editing with University of California scientist Jennifer Doudna.
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is the name of the gene-editing system. The version Charpentier helped pioneer is CRISPR-Cas9 because it uses the Cas9 nuclease.
The treatment itself is difficult. Stem cells are removed from a patient’s bone marrow, and the genes in it are edited in a laboratory. Patients must then undergo conditioning treatment to avoid rejection before the cells are infused back. The treatment is seen as a potential cure.
Casgevy is now before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a potential sickle cell treatment. A decision on that is due in March.
The Bottom Line on CRSP Stock
The U.K. decision won’t have a huge financial impact, but it could be the first of many. CRISPR has treatments for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease in its pipeline. The FDA decision, when it comes, will also move the stock.
As of this writing, Dana Blankenhorn did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.