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Is the gene-editing industry set to grow expansively in the next five years? With all the speculation behind gene-editing, are CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) and bluebird bio (BLUE) good investments over the long term?
This is Sailesh Tirupasur. I'm a part of Stock Card's summer internship program in 2020, and this post is a part of my Stock Battle series. I don't own these two stocks, and my goal here is to study them to decide whether to invest or not.
Stock research and analysis
Gene-editing technology is a rapidly growing industry that manipulates the basic building blocks of life. Two of the leaders in the space of gene-editing are CRISPR Therapeutics and Bluebird bio. CRISPR Therapeutics received some attention last year when it announced positive results from an experimental trial with a product called CTX001. This product is being developed as a potential treatment for two blood disorders called sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. With newly released data that points to the massive potential for success, investors seem to be quite positive about this company's future. Currently, the company has over $900 million in cash, compared to about $240 million in annual expenses. If successful, gene therapy will target a $5 billion market opportunity for hemoglobin related blood disorders.
Bluebird bio stock price has been down since the beginning of the year by almost 30%. However, many experts are still quite enthusiastic about the company's future potential. Unlike most of its competitors, Bluebird bio already has a product in the market with its Zynteglo, a treatment for TDT(terminal transferase) approved in 2019. This company had many investors excited because, before Zynteglo, there were no treatments available for TDT. Bluebird also collaborates with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) to develop a potential cancer treatment called ide-cel, which many people are excited about. Moreover, the company has a lower price point that could take off in the coming years due to how fast the gene-editing industry is expected to grow annually.
While Bluebird has a ton of upside in addition to its already successful product in the market, CRISPR Therapeutics looks much stronger. It has a history of outperforming the market and promises new trial results. Between the two, I would add CRISPR to my watchlist, and revisit Bluebird after a few quarters.