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CRISPR and Vertex- Front-Runners in Gene-Therapy

In addition to high-quality blue chip, long-term holdings, we also occasionally look to long-term opportunities that have the potential to return lottery-sized profits, asserts Jim Powell, editor of Global Changes & Opportunities Report.

Some of the most promising are in the field of gene therapy that is beginning to deliver life-saving therapies. Theories about why lifespans are finite suggest that changing key parts of our DNA should make repairs more effective.

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With the new Crispr/Cas9 gene editing system — making changes in human DNA is now being studied throughout the world. Using the new tool to increase human lifespans — while improving our overall health — is now within sight.

Meddling with our DNA, of course, can be dangerous, but the hope is that Crispr/Cas9 technology can be used to change individual patients’ genes in search of genetic cures for cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, diabetes, and AIDS — to name only a few.

Any investor who wishes to take an early position in what promises to become a life-changing biotech advance should consider buying CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP). The company pioneered the Crispr/Cas9 gene-editing tool and is the leader in using it to develop new disease therapies.

CRISPR’s first target is beta thalassemia, a form of anemia. With its partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), the company is in Phase I/II trials to bring a cure to market. Coming up next will be a gene therapy cure for sickle cell disease.

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Both companies are focused on changing the genes of individual patients, not making DNA modifications that could last for generations. The two pioneering companies — CRISPR and Vertex — are front-runners in the gene therapy field.

Both companies should be considered speculations. CRISPR is a pure-play that has yet to make a profit, and may be years away from doing so. Vertex is not a gene therapy pure play, but it is profitable and should appeal to somewhat more conservative investors who want to take a lower risk position in the field.

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