Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA) recently reported positive results for gene-editing candidate NTLA-2001. After its stock soared on the news, the company took advantage of the higher share price by announcing a public stock offering to raise more cash. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 30, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli address viewers’ questions about what’s next for Intellia.
Keith Speights: There’s a common theme among several questions. Jenny W asks, “Is it still a good time to buy Novocure and Intellia at these valuations?”
We also had Sam say that, “With the recent positive results of genome editing under CRISPR (NASDAQ:CRSP) technology, a few companies have seen some uptick. Do you think stocks like CRISPR or Intellia — again Intellia there — will continue to see volatility with their stock price or will they start to stabilize?”
Then Irritable Investor says, “What do you guys think about Intellia’s recent clinical trial data? How do you think they’re differentiated versus CRISPR Therapeutics added to some medicine, etc?” There may be others on Intellia.
Let’s jump on Intellia. Brian, what’s your take on Intellia after the company’s latest results?
Brian Orelli: As we talked about it a little bit on Monday, I think. The data is revolutionary because it’s the first time a company has done in vivo gene editing on patients.
The other data for CRISPR Therapeutics has been to pull cells out of the patient, edit them in a laboratory, and then put them back into patients and you will use your stem cells there so that they would be continuing to grow.
Intellia’s data was able to edit the DNA within the liver. They just give the drug to the patients. The drug goes to the liver, edits the DNA in the liver and it showed that they were able to knock down the protein expression level of the edited gene, so that’s exactly what you want to see.
The questions are, what’s the long-term effect? Does it wane over time? You have to keep giving this drug, which the main advantage of gene editing is it supposed to be a one-time thing. I’m not sure that if you have to give it multiple times, that’s any better than using RNAi, which is already available for many diseases to knock down the expression of genes in the liver.
I think Intellia definitely deserve the jump it’s given. I saw today, they’re raising hundreds of millions of dollars in a secondary offering. I think that’s a very smart move.
Anytime your stock jumps, biotech executives should be thinking, we should probably raise capital right now because you raise capital when you can, not when you have to and so even though they have a decent amount of capital, I think adding to that is definitely the way to go right now and that will get them to their next value inflection point.
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