Gene editing is revolutionizing how the world approaches medicine. In fact, by “simply” removing cells from the body, editing them, and reintroducing them, we could help treat sickle-cell anemia, cancers, blood disorders, blindness, cystic fibrosis, and even muscular dystrophy if all goes according to plan. But that’s just the start. As things progress, it may be able to knock out every disease known, creating massive opportunities for gene-editing stocks.
With blindness for example, a team led by UW-Madison researchers was able to repair a gene mutation that causes a form of childhood blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis, says the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gene editing may offer chickens protection against bird flu. In fact, according to Reuters, “Researchers now think that making three specific genetic changes to chickens’ cells will better protect birds.”
In short, we could be looking at massive potential for gene-editing stocks, such as:
Gene-Editing Stocks: Editas Medicine (EDIT)
Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) doesn’t have the most attractive chart, but give it time. At double bottom support at $7.26, I’d like to see the EDIT stock retest $10 initially. Helping, analysts at Stifel just upgraded the stock to a “buy” rating, with a price target of $17. All thanks to EDIT’s sickle cell disease treatment potential.
The company expects to administer its EDIT-301 treatment in 20 sickle-cell patients by year-end. Better, the US FDA granted regenerative medicine advanced therapy designation to EDIT-301. This will help speed up the development and review process. Additionally, in June, EDIT-301 was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events reported.
CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP)
Or, look at CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), whose chart isn’t so hot either. But again, don’t write these stocks off. With CRSP, Mizuho analysts just initiated a “buy” rating on the stock, with an $82 price target. All thanks to its gene editing platform, exa-cel – which has a PDUFA target action date of Dec. 8 for sickle cell disease.
Developed with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), if exa-cel is approved, it could help treat both sickle cell and beta-thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.
Even better, according to Vertex CEO Reshma Kewalrami, exa-cel is a “multibillion-dollar opportunity in the future,” as noted by Seeking Alpha. Plus, if approved, the company says it already has 50 treatment centers in the U.S. ready to administer the therapy, and 25 in Europe.
Global X Genomics and Biotechnology ETF (GNOM)
If you’d prefer to diversify with 41 gene editing-related stocks at less than $10 a share, there’s the Global X Genomics and Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:GNOM). With an expense ratio of 0.50%, the ETF invests in companies involved with gene editing, genomic sequencing, genetic medicine/therapy, computational genomics, and biotechnology, as noted by Global X.
Some of its top holdings include CRISPR Therapeutics, Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT), Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA), Beam Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BEAM), and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) to name a few of the top ones. Granted, the GNOM chart isn’t attractive either, but give it time. Eventually, I’d like to see the GNOM ETF double, if not triple.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not hold (directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.