U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 43 mins

A Specialty Biotech ETF Strengthens on Optimism Over CRISPR Advancements

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

A targeted biotechnology ETF strategy jumped Friday after Editas Medicine (EDIT) announced fourth quarter results, revealing its latest progress toward the commercialization of its EDIT-101 drug candidate and its expansion into other novel CRISPR developments.

The ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (ARKG) , which provides exposure to CRISPR, gene editing, therapeutics, agricultural biology and health care innovation, increased 3.6% on Friday.

Supporting the gains, Editas Medicine and Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) shares surged 15.5% and 10.6%, respectively, on Friday. ARKG includes a 7.1% tilt toward NTLA and 6.7% to EDIT. Both companies are at the forefront of developing CRISPR gene editing technologies that could potentially change the way genetic diseases are treated.

Late Thursday, Editas Medicine revealed an increase in revenue driven by $1.6 million under Editas' strategic alliance with Allergan, along with a $0.8 million revenue related to collaboration with Juno Therapeutics, according to The Motley Fool. The company also ended with enough cash to latest 24 months of funding or to "fund advancement of multiple transformative experimental medicines."

The The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved Editas' investigational new drug application for its EDIT-101 drug candidate.

Editas and Allergan plan to enroll 10 to 20 patients in the second half of 2019 to test EDIT-101 for treating Leber Congenital Amaurosis type 10, the leading cause of childhood blindness. Edit-101 would be the first-ever in vivo, or editing inside the body, CRISPR medication administered to patients.

CRISPR could enable cheap and rapid “write” capabilities to correct genetic defects.

Looking ahead, CRISPR-based innovations to accelerate given the technology’s ease of use, cost-efficacy, growing body of research surrounding its safety and AI-powered CRISPR nuclease selection tools. CRISPR could also be utilized to address some of the most prominent healthcare problems, which opens up a significant investment opportunity in monogenic diseases.

For more information on the biotech segment, visit our biotechnology category.