Both Kulkarni and Intellia's Bermingham - who was succeeded by John Leonard, a former AbbVie (ABBV) executive - say there's room for all three big players in the group.
Sizing the market is a challenge, ARK's Samy says. No matter how you slice it, the numbers are big and a lot will depend on which diseases companies target and how they set pricing.
If CRISPR is able to address all monogenic diseases diagnosed each year, that's a $75 billion market globally, she says. Addressing all these diseases for people already living with diagnoses would be a $2 trillion market.
"One product is not going to cure everything," she said. "Whenever you're seeing volatility between these three main CRISPR companies, it doesn't really make sense because there's room for all of them and more when it comes to CRISPR."
Kulkarni says it's unlikely the market will remain at just three publicly traded biotech companies with CRISPR technology in the long run. The technology is just that remarkable.
"Once in a lifetime may be a little bit of a stretch, maybe not," he said. "But it's definitely a once in a generation type of advance in the field. The last time this kind of excitement happened in the biotech field was when antibodies were applied as therapeutic modalities. On the basis of that, technology companies like Genentech (now owned by Roche (RHHBY)) were created."
He added: "Here we have the basis of a CRISPR platform to create the next big biotech giants ."
"Over 10,000 diseases are caused by a mutation in a single gene. Even more diseases result from mutations in multiple genes. Research is under way right now that could lead to cures for over a dozen genetic diseases using gene editing. Treating genetic disease is already a big business. Vertex Pharmaceuticals, for example, made over $2 billion last year treating only a fraction of patients who have cystic fibrosis."
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"Oh CRISPR, how you’ve grown. From an obscure part of the bacterial immune defense system, you’re now on track to cure genetic diseases, thwart superbugs, boost global food production, and wipe out disease-carrying pests.
And now, finally, you’re ready to shed your cellular cocoon and head out into a cell-free world.
Ever since scientists successfully adopted the gene-editing tool for use in mammalian cells, CRISPR has been barricaded behind cell membranes. The gene-editing technology performs its magic by snipping away chunks of malfunctioning DNA and inserting healthy replacements. All of this cut-and-paste action had to occur within living cells—until now."