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Investors Cheer Secondary Offering for Gene-Editing Firm

Chris Lange

CRISPR Therapeutics A.G. (CRSP) saw its shares make a handy gain to close out the week after the firm announced that it would be pricing its secondary offering. While most secondary offerings would bring down the price of the stock, this case is different and shareholders are cheering this dilution because it might bring about something greater.

The company intends to price its 5.0 million shares at $22.75 apiece, with an overallotment option for an additional 750,000 shares. At this price, the entire offering is valued up to $130.81 million. Keep in mind that the company has a market cap of roughly $1.1 billion.

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The underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, Barclays and Guggenheim Securities.

CRISPR is a leading gene editing company focused on the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics. CRISPR stands for clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, associated protein-9, and is a revolutionary technology for gene editing, the process of precisely altering specific sequences of genomic DNA.

The company is applying this technology to potentially treat a broad set of both rare and common diseases by disrupting, correcting or regulating disease-related genes. Management believes that its scientific expertise, together with its gene-editing approach, may enable an entirely new class of highly effective and potentially curative treatments for patients for whom current biopharmaceutical approaches have had limited success. Its most advanced programs target beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease, two hemoglobinopathies that have high unmet medical need.

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It’s worth noting that at the end of September 2017, the company had a cash balance of $253.5 million. And going forward the company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, as well as its cash reserves, to fund the clinical development of CTX001, CTX101 and additional pipeline candidates and platform extensions.

Shares of CRISPR were last seen up more than 17% at $28.11 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $25.00 and a 52-week trading range of $16.51 to $27.50.

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