Gene-Editing Stocks Skyrocket in $1.6 Billion Boom After Data

A trio of biotechnology companies that use Crispr gene editing technology to create their experimental medicines are continuing a red-hot streak to record highs after a key medical meeting this past weekend.

Crispr Therapeutics AG, Editas Medicine Inc. and Intellia Therapeutics Inc. have rallied this week after promising updates at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) virtual meeting for the technique on which their treatments are based. Findings by Crispr and its partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. showed their therapy for beta thalassemia and sickle-cell disease may have curative benefits, showcasing the technology’s potential in more patients.

Editas has surged more than 40% so far this week, while Intellia gained 15%. Shares of Crispr have climbed almost 4%. The three stocks have added about $1.75 billion in market value since the weekend as analysts piled on praise and investors doubled down on bets for the technology.

Intellia and Editas are studying treatments that use the same gene-editing technology, but are much smaller and in earlier-stage human trials. Editas finished dosing the first group of patients with EDIT-101, an experimental therapy for a rare eye disease, while Intellia recently started a study in a rare and fatal disease known as transthyretin amyloidosis.

With the most recent gains, Crispr boasts a market capitalization of about $10.8 billion compared with more modest values of $3.2 billion for Intellia and $3.1 billion for Editas. Gains for the trio this year vary from Editas’s 68% climb to Intellia’s 242% boom, though the returns all more than double that of the closely watched Nasdaq Biotech Index, which is up 24%.

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