CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals today reported preliminary, mostly-positive safety and efficacy data from the first two patients enrolled in two Phase I/II trials assessing their CRISPR/Cas9 gene-edited therapy CTX001 for a pair of blood disorders—the first clinical trial of a gene-editing candidate sponsored by U.S. companies.
“We are very encouraged by these preliminary data, the first such data to be reported for patients with beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease treated with our CRISPR/Cas9 edited autologous hematopoietic stem cell candidate CTX001,” CRISPR Therapeutics CEO Samarth Kulkarni, PhD, said in a statement. “These data support our belief in the potential of our therapies to have meaningful benefit for patients following a one-time intervention. We continue to enroll these studies as we drive forward to develop CRISPR/Cas9 therapies as a new class of transformative medicines to treat serious diseases.”
Added Vertex chairman, president, and CEO Jeffrey Leiden, MD, PhD: “The data we announced today are remarkable and demonstrate that CTX001 has the potential to be a curative CRISPR/Cas9-based gene-editing therapy.”
Investors appeared to agree with Leiden and Kulkarni, snapping up enough shares of CRISPR Therapeutics to boost its stock price 21%, to $70.89 in early trading as of 10:02 a.m. Vertex shares barely budged, rising 0.46% (97 cents a share) to $210.97.
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