Crispr Therapeutics AG shares surged after the company said it has treated the first human with the same genetic technology that shares its name in an early-stage study.
Crispr Therapeutics and partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Monday morning that the first patient in a trial using CTX001, a therapy created using Crispr technology, as a treatment for the rare blood disease, beta thalassemia, received the one-time medicine. The pair also announced the enrollment of the first patient has started in a parallel study for the medicine in sickle-cell disease with the first dosing on track for mid-year.
“Treating the first patient in this study marks an important scientific and medical milestone and the beginning of our efforts to fully realize the promise of CRISPR/Cas9 therapies as a new class of potentially transformative medicines to treat serious diseases,” Samarth Kulkarni, Chief Executive Officer of Crispr Therapeutics, said in a statement.
Crispr Therapeutics rose as much as 20 percent to $38.10 at 9:56 a.m. in New York after the announcement, the largest intraday move in more than a year. Peers Editas Medicine Inc. and Intellia Therapeutics Inc. rose as much as 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively, after the update and a pair of biopharma takeouts.
The technology has a wide range of applications and has captured investor imagination for the better part of the last year and a half, despite only being used in animal models. Crispr led the pack in share movement and market valuation last year, when the word “Crispr” spread like wildfire among trader conversations.