CRISPR Stocks Are Soaring Amid Biotech Breakthrough

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Jun. 28 2021, Published 10:21 a.m. ET

CRISPR has been a big name ever since Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier became the first women to win a joint Nobel Prize for their discoveries. Now, two companies have demonstrated a new breakthrough in CRISPR technology, namely its use in vivo, or in the body.

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Following the clinical data from Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NTLA) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN), stocks in the CRISPR subsector are poised to soar.

The Intellia and Regeneron CRISPR news is big

CRISPR technology has already proven its ability to cut and edit genes outside of the body using lab-grown cells. However, new clinical data from Intellia and Regeneron shows that it's successful when implemented inside the human body as well.

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Scientists injected CRISPR into the blood, where it targeted the tissues and DNA necessary to treat disease. The research is based on patients with toxic liver proteins contributing to fatal nerve and heart disease (transthyretin amyloidosis). CRISPR successfully minimized those toxic liver proteins and paved the way for a life-enhancing treatment. 

It isn't a cure, but it's a big step for CRISPR scientists. To be able to make gene edits without removing cells from the body makes the technology much more feasible for modern medicine.

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CRISPR companies were big pre-market movers thanks to the weekend announcement.

The news about the CRISPR breakthrough came on June 26, which means investors have been watching stocks in the gene-editing subsector ahead of the week's market open. Intellia stock rose 56.51 percent from the previous close, while Regeneron shares increased 2.9 percent.

Despite the fact that CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) wasn't part of the clinical research that Intellia and Regeneron published, CRSP stock also saw a premarket climb of 8.4 percent. After all, the stock does have somewhat of a market advantage with the word CRISPR in its name.

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Forecast for Intellia, Regeneron, and other CRISPR stocks looks promising

CRISPR stocks have shown potential before, and there are bound to be even more scientific breakthroughs in the future. If you're already invested in the industry's leading individual stocks, or funds like the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) that consolidate a basket of gene-editing companies in the public arena, you're reaping the rewards as we speak.

However, analysts largely view long-term growth in this space as inevitable. Back in April, Nasdaq wrote that CRISPR-related stocks were undervalued considering "potentially revolutionary developments that could cure conditions from cancer to rare genetic disorders."

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With Intellia up at least 133 percent YTD, waiting for a correction might be a good idea. However, a broader investment in the particular biotech sector of CRISPR could balance your investment, making for a smart buy-in right now. CRSP stock itself could see a 7.8–43.7 percent increase, based on CNN analyst predictions. They foresee more volatility for Intellia, most likely based on the current upswing.

You might also want to add other stocks to your watchlist as the CRISPR sector takes off once again, including Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:EDIT), Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAM), and BioNano Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ:BNGO).

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