In this Market Foolery segment, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool Rule Breakers’ Aaron Bush talk about where genetic engineering is heading — which is out of the lab and toward really curing diseases. Yes, it’s early days. But the potential for CRISPR could be enormous. But there are some interesting speedbumps involved for biotech investors.
A full transcript follows the video.
10 stocks we like better than CRISPR Therapeutics
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and CRISPR Therapeutics wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
*Stock Advisor returns as of July 6, 2017
This video was recorded on July 11, 2017.
Chris Hill:Every once in awhile,I like to walk by your desk and ask you, “Whatare you working on right now? What’s something that’s caught your interest?” And you had brought up this,[laughs] frankly,you brought up a word I had never heard before, and that is CRISPR. I should say, anacronym I’d never seen before. CRISPR stands for –stick with me, folks — clusteredregularly interspacedshort palindromic repeats. Let’s do this again, shall we? CRISPR:clustered regularly interspacedshort palindromicrepeats, which isessentially a very fancy way of referring to biotech engineering.
Theanalogy that our colleague Michael Douglass mentioned to me, and also appearedin the article I read is that,imagine a DNA strand,and you have this microscopic pair of scissors, and it enables you to snip out one little piece of the DNA,and you can do any number of things with that,depending on which DNA we’re talking about. Thispotentially has ramifications for food supply, for disease, formedicines, for treatments, all that sort of thing. Tell mewhere this space is right now, andwhat you’re watching when it comes to this space. Biotech engineering has been, I would say, maybe not at the forefront of the news,but certainly 15 years ago or so, when we were going to sequence the human genome, whatthat was such a dominant story, I think since then, this is an industry that investors haveat least had on their radarto some degree or another.
Aaron Bush: Right.I think it’s still new enough tonot be super relevant for investors. Butevery day or week that passes by, itbecomes slightly morerelevant. I think for the most part, theprogress has been mostly restricted to labs,getting the fundamental technology itself to work,where you can actually change the genes in whatever creature. But,it is starting to move out more into the mainstream,and it’s starting to become more relevant andcreating cures for diseases andactually doing things with it. In my opinion, it’skind of like a big idea at this point. There isn’t a lot to back it up. But,if you do play it forward, it is one of those really big ideas. It’sprobably on parwith augmented reality, or machine learning, or cryptocurrencies, even, that can just disrupt the way that things are done at a fundamental level. So, I’m excited to see where it runs. But it’sstill definitely the early days.
Hill: And that wasanother thing Michael Douglass mentions. He said, “This is super early stage,” and there are pure-playcompanies out there, one of which wassmart enough to get the nameCRISPR Therapeutics(NASDAQ: CRSP), so kudos towhoever nailed that one. But,you were saying before we started taping that there’s a move right now to create a patent pool, because you could see where, for some companies,this could become incredibly lucrative. You could also see a situation where –and it sounds like this is maybepart of what is driving the move toward a patent pool –everything could just get tangled up in legal “he-said, she-said, that’s my patent” stuff.
Bush: Right. One of the main blockers to the development of CRISPR is an ongoing fight over patent rights.I think we’re at thepoint where things are getting slowand getting caught up legally. As you can imagine,there are several universities, labs,biotech companies justclamoring over this, trying to pile onas quickly as possible, because it is going to beone of the next big things. And right now,there are a few exclusive licensesthat are probably too broad in the market, and should probably be re-evaluated so that there aren’t specific gatekeepers to the technology. So, yeah, this needs to form a patent pool and simplify thelicensing process, could ease that patent logjam and really helpaccelerate CRISPR’s developmentacross everything, across the entire space. So, right now,this is still at the proposal level, andI don’t know how quickly that’s going to move,because there are a lot of players here. There’s still negotiation to be done, but ifthe negotiations go well,I think this could start to become much more relevant for investors sooner. Andsomething with the biotech space in general is, you do need to invest early to get the big results. And if you wait until there’s a drug on the market that works, you just missed a several-billion-dollar run-up. So, it isimportant to be watching these early moves. Andseeing how all the different players, theEditas, the CRISPRTherapeutics, and others, howthey’re going to shake out in this patent pool issue.
Hill: It sounds like, as investors, we should be rooting for the patent pool to come to fruition, because that’s going toaccelerate the process, instead of being –and I’m just pulling these numbers out of thin air — 10 years away fromtreatments being on the market, we are five to seven years away.
Bush: Yeah.I think it’s hard to put specific numbers on it, but yes,that’s definitely the idea. It’ll allow companies tomore quickly start building their owntechnologies and their own patents on top of a larger pool that’s available to everyone.
Hill: To make this both more real and more fun, oneexample that I dug upwhen I was clicking around this morning, anarticle from Scientific American –which is six years old, by the way. I’m angry that no one in my life flagged this article for me. It was basically how researchers took thefluorescent proteins that appear injellyfish genes andinserted them into a common household cat. And so, boom,glow-in-the-dark cat. I mean,who’s not excited about that?
Bush: What elsecan you ask for?
Hill: Actually,our man behind the glass, Dan Boyd,when I mentioned that to him, he was like, “No.I have no interest in a glow-in-the-dark cat, they’reenough trouble as they are at nighttime. Add theglow-in-the-dark feature and that’snot sweetening the deal for me.” Reallyinteresting stuff. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Aaron Bush has no position in any stocks mentioned. Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
- Bitcoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 21, 2017 - September 24th, 2017
- Investors Shouldn’t Worry About Warren Buffett’s Stance on Bitcoin - September 24th, 2017
- Don’t Worry About the Fall; Bitcoin, Ethereum Prices Still Have More Upside Left - September 24th, 2017
- Daily Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis: XRP Could Eclipse Bitcoin Cash - September 24th, 2017
- Daily Litecoin Price Forecast: LTC Prices Fall Below $50 - September 24th, 2017
- Daily Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – Rumors of China’s Crypto Mining Ban - September 24th, 2017
- Daily Bitcoin Price Forecast and Analysis – BTC Will Hit Above $4,000 by Year End - September 24th, 2017
- Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 21, 2017 - September 24th, 2017
- Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 21, 2017 - September 24th, 2017
- Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 21, 2017 - September 24th, 2017
- Bitcoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Litecoin Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 18, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- This Cryptocurrency Could Be the Next Bitcoin - September 20th, 2017
- Ripple Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 15, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- Ethereum Price Forecast and Analysis – September 19, 2017 - September 20th, 2017
- First genetic engineering therapy approved by the FDA for leukemia - Ars Technica - August 30th, 2017
- genetic engineering | Definition, Process, & Uses ... - August 24th, 2017
- Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages - Biology ... - August 24th, 2017
- Genetic engineering - Wikipedia - August 22nd, 2017
- genetic engineering | Definition, Process, & Uses ... - August 22nd, 2017
- Genetic Engineering: What is Genetic Engineering? - August 21st, 2017
- genetic engineering | Definition, Process, & Uses ... - August 21st, 2017
- Gene therapy - Wikipedia - August 21st, 2017
- Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages - Biology ... - August 21st, 2017
- Genetic engineering - Biology-Online Dictionary - August 21st, 2017
- History of genetic engineering - Wikipedia - August 21st, 2017
- ADRIAN Kibbler wonders whether genetic engineering may be used in the future to prevent illness - Ludlow Advertiser - August 21st, 2017
- ADRIAN Kibbler wonders whether genetic engineering may be used in the future to prevent illness - Ludlow Advertiser - August 19th, 2017
- Listening for the Public Voice - Slate Magazine - August 16th, 2017
- The Impossible Burger wouldn't be possible without genetic engineering - Grist - August 12th, 2017
- Genetically Engineering Pigs to Grow Organs for People - The Atlantic - August 11th, 2017
- When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice - GreenBiz - August 10th, 2017
- Gene Editing Might Mean My Brother Would've Never Existed - TIME - August 10th, 2017
- It's Time to Stop Asking Whether Human Genetic Engineering Should Happen and Start Planning to Manage it Safely - HuffPost - August 10th, 2017
- Global: Engineering the Future of Our Food - STRATFOR - August 10th, 2017
- Genetic Engineering with Strict Guidelines? Ha! - Discovery Institute - August 9th, 2017
- When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice - Genetic Literacy Project - August 8th, 2017
- When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice - Genetic Literacy Project - August 7th, 2017
- The Call-In: Genetic Engineering - NPR - August 6th, 2017
- Experts Call on US to Start Funding Scientists to Genetically Engineer Human Embryos - Gizmodo - August 5th, 2017
- What is genetic engineering? | Facts | yourgenome.org - August 4th, 2017
- Genetic Engineering with 'Strict Guidelines?' Ha! - National Review - August 4th, 2017
- A Blueprint for Genetically Engineering a Super Coral - Smithsonian - August 4th, 2017
- Don't fear the rise of superbabies. Worry about who will own genetic engineering technology. - Chicago Tribune - August 3rd, 2017
- When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice - Ensia - August 2nd, 2017
- We Need to Talk About Genetic Engineering | commentary - Commentary Magazine - August 1st, 2017
- Understanding the basics of Genetically-Modified Organisms - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog) - August 1st, 2017
- Can genetic modification turn annual crops into perennials? - Genetic Literacy Project - August 1st, 2017
- Genetic engineering creates an unnaturally blue flower - Engadget - July 31st, 2017
- 'True blue' chrysanthemum flowers produced with genetic ... - Nature - Nature.com - July 31st, 2017
- When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice - Ensia - July 29th, 2017
- Should genetic engineering be used as a tool for conservation? - chinadialogue - July 29th, 2017
- Scientists Give a Chrysanthemum the Blues - New York Times - July 29th, 2017
- Human Genetic Engineering Begins! | National Review - National Review - July 27th, 2017
- True Blue Chrysanthemum Flowers Produced with Genetic Engineering - Scientific American - July 27th, 2017
- Pancreas in a Dish Tells Story of How Metastatic Cells Turn Back Time - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (press release) - July 27th, 2017
- 'True blue' chrysanthemum flowers produced with genetic engineering - Nature.com - July 26th, 2017
- Ghana mulling genetic engineering to combat armyworm crop damage - Genetic Literacy Project - July 26th, 2017
- Genetically Engineering Nature Will Be Way More Complicated Than We Thought - Gizmodo - July 21st, 2017
- Should Genetic Engineering Be Used as a Tool for Conservation? - Yale Environment 360 - July 21st, 2017
- DARPA funds $65 million for safer genetic engineering and technology to fight bioterrorism - Next Big Future - July 21st, 2017
- A Super-algae to Save our Seas - Laboratory Equipment - July 21st, 2017
- McCaskey grad writes new book on CRISPR and genome engineering - LancasterOnline - July 20th, 2017
- Chris R. Badman - Lincoln Journal Star - July 20th, 2017
- China unveils technology to create SUPER-HUMANS via hyper-muscular test-tube dogs - Express.co.uk - July 18th, 2017
- 32 genetic engineering incidents since 2011 revealed in regulator's ... - The Canberra Times - July 17th, 2017
- Genetically Modified Rice Stacked With Antioxidants - Asian Scientist Magazine - July 17th, 2017
- China unveils gene technology to create SUPERHUMANS with hyper-muscular test-tube dogs - Express.co.uk - July 16th, 2017
- Boston author turns real life into Hollywood-ready stories - Boston Herald - July 16th, 2017
- FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment - New York Times - July 14th, 2017
- I poured out my hot sauce - The Telegraph - July 14th, 2017
- Genetically engineered salmon is coming to America - The Week Magazine - July 12th, 2017
- Are Pink Pineapples Safe to Eat? - Observer - July 12th, 2017
- Can Genetic Engineering Put an End to Diamondback Moth Plague ... - Growing Produce - July 11th, 2017
- Writing the human genome - The Biological SCENE - July 10th, 2017