Here’s Why Editas Medicine Jumped 45.3% in November – The Motley Fool

Posted: December 5, 2019 at 2:49 am

What happened

Shares of Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) rose more than 45% last month, according to data fromS&P Global Market Intelligence. The gene editing pioneer rose for reasons both internal and external.

The business announced an amended collaboration with Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) for developing engineered immune cells and will receive an upfront payment of $70 million as a result of the new agreement. The company also enjoyed a bump from peer CRISPR Therapeutics, which reported promising results for the first two patients dosed with its lead drug candidate, CTX001. Investors took that as evidence that CRISPR-based medicines might be the real deal, although that's a mighty big leap.

The gene editing company also reported a business update and operating results for the third quarter of 2019, but there wasn't much to report for the pre-commercial entity.

Image source: Getty Images.

Editas Medicine started working with Juno Therapeutics, now owned by Celgene, in 2015. The idea was to combine the gene-editing platform of the former with the immunotherapy leadership of the latter. That's still the case, but the amended agreement scales back the specific types of engineered T cells that will be developed in the collaboration. It's a subtle, but potentially important, detail with (beneficial) ramifications for the long-term future of Editas Medicine.

It appears that the $70 million upfront payment was made in part to compensate Editas Medicine for the difference. After all, the company had already received $70 million in upfront, milestone, and execution payments under the original collaboration agreement. It's not immediately clear how the financial terms have changed, if they did at all, but the gene editing pioneer originally stood to receive up to $920 million in milestone payments.

Beyond that, there were several other updates provided in November:

The gene-editing landscape is still in the earliest stages of development. While CRISPR Therapeutics has taken an early lead as the top gene editing company, Editas Medicine is hoping to prove that its direct delivery approach will prove equally effective. The trial results the company will present in the coming years will become crucial tests for the future of CRISPR-gene editing, especially with competing techniques on the horizon.

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Here's Why Editas Medicine Jumped 45.3% in November - The Motley Fool

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