What's The Big Deal About Gene Editing? Drug Development.

What's The Big Deal About Gene Editing?  Drug Development.

Existing drug therapies have made progress with cancer and other diseases but are not enough to work in all cases, on all diseases, or on all patients.  New therapeutics are needed.  Gene therapy approaches have been promising, but they require a tool to create genes.  Enter gene editing technologies.  The continual development of therapeutics and the dollars of government and industry investments and funding in the gene editing area for this purpose are the driving forces for the sale and usage of gene editing products. This is the conclusion of Kalorama Information’s report on Gene Editing Markets (report: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/Gene-Editing-CRISPR-10347331/).

This is not futuristic talk.  Companies such as Pfizer and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Biogen, IDEC, Juno Therapeutics and Novartis,  are involved in the development of therapeutics using gene editing technologies through various investments and collaborations with smaller companies.  

We think that the need for new, more effective, biopharmaceutical treatments and the development of CRISPR – that’s clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – has not only boosted the market but made gene editing tools a viable industry.   You can see that we expect a higher rate of revenue growth in drug development (45%) than even research or agricultural.   The fact that the demand for development is coming at a time when there's been technology innovation is a multiplier effect on growth in the market for these tools.  

“Why has the competition increased in the past two years, why has the interest been sparked in the last two years?" asks our analyst and report author Adriana Rusu.  "It's the new technology of CRISPR, which is simpler for operators and more cost-effective when you contrast it with the other types -- ZFN and TALEN." 

Older technologies include Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN).  They won't go away but they will fade.   CRISPR(clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats).  Sangamo Biosciences and Cellectis are top in this field, having the most advanced drug candidates in the pipeline, but several startup companies – including CRISPR Therapeutics, Editas Medicine, Intellia Therapeutics, and Poseida Therapeutics have been created to use the newer GE technologies for the engineering of drugs.  Most of these companies are in US/EUR, but not all of them China has also advanced rapidly in this area, as two CRISPR-engineered drug candidates developed in China have already entered clinical trials in 2016 for the treatment of cancer.  

Companies participating in the market for gene editing technologies used by these concerns include Millipore Sigma, ThermoFisher Scientific, Dharmacon, Gene Copoeia, GenScript, Horizon Discovery Group, Ori Gene, Transposagen, and Tool Gen.  Our report profiles these companies.  

Initial uses of gene editing technologies focused on disorders are the result of a single defective gene.  Now they are going broader into cancer biotherapeutics.  They have also witnessed recently a growing interest from the bio-pharmaceutical industry for cancer drugs that are not directly gene therapy but targeting immune effects.