2 stocks to buy in the high potential gene editing space

Gene editing is one of the most exciting and interesting investment opportunities. So, here are two stocks to consider buying in the space.

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Investors are always on the lookout for new stocks to buy. We’re looking for bargains, high-potential stocks, and dividend giants.

One area of the market that’s getting a lot of attention is gene editing. It’s a breakthrough technology and after a host of regulatory approvals, the future is looking bright. So, here’s one stock I’ve bought and one stock I’m considering buying, but remain neutral on for now.

CRISPR Therapeutics

CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) is a Swiss company at the forefront of gene editing. The company has received a host of approvals for its CASGEVY programme and has a strong portfolio of treatments in development. CRISPR is an acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”, and it allows scientists to alter our DNA in order to treat and address the root cause of a host of illnesses.

The company’s first approval — CASGEVY — treats patients with sickle-cell disease (SCD) and transfusion‑dependent beta thalassemia. With more than 100,000 people with transfusion‑dependent beta thalassemia in the US and another 100,000 with SCD, analysts have forecasted an initial addressable market worth $70.4bn. That’s with CASGEVY price tag of $2.2m. In the long run, this addressable market could grow assuming the go-to-market strategy proves successful and health services/health insurers adopt the treatment. It’s also worth noting the prevalence of these genetic diseases in high wealth economies in the Middle East.

CASGEVY is 60% owned by CRISPR’s launch partner Vertex, but there’s still a huge and potentially under-appreciated revenue generating opportunity here. The Swiss firm also has wholly owned therapies in the developmental phase in the sphere of oncology and regenerative medicines.

What makes CRISPR interesting is that it’s one of the first to gain regulatory approval, and perhaps the first to have a truly marketable product. On the other hand, while CASGEVY trialed very successfully, we don’t know about the longevity of the cure. Nonetheless, the possible gains outweigh the risk, in my opinion.

Beam Therapeutics

Beam Therapeutics‘s (NASDAQ:BEAM) first gene editing therapy will also address SCD and beta thalassemia. And there’s a reason for this. The illnesses are like the low-hanging fruit of gene therapy because they are caused by a single and traceable mutation in the beta-globin gene.

However, it’s unlikely that Beam will deliver its treatment for regulatory approval for a couple of years, given the current state of the trial. And that gives CRISPR plenty of time to cement its position in the market. It has a real head start.

Nonetheless, there’s a reason I’m interested in Beam. And that’s its proprietary base editing technology. This differs slightly from CRISPR technology as it doesn’t cause double-stranded breaks in the DNA when cutting. This can improve the effectiveness of the treatment and prevent unwanted changes to our genetic markers.

Like CRISPR Therapeutics, Beam has other programmes in development including a treatment for T-cell cancers. However, as it’s a little further away from having a marketable treatment, I’m neutral on this one.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

James Fox has positions in CRISPR Therapeutics. The Motley Fool UK has recommended CRISPR Therapeutics. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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