Listen here ol’ chums. The Junglee does not blab about pre-revenue stocks. That is not her game. However, there are times in life when the voices in your head say: this here is the future. When the crystal ball says: fuck style-drift. When you simply violate the core tenets of your investment philosophy, not giving a cunt’s hair about your “reputation” or “disciplined investment method” — do you understand what I am saying? Do not mistake this abberation for shambolic investment advice. Enjoy the linkfest.
On offer are shares of Editas (CUSIP 28106W103), the “800-pound gorilla” in the field of gene-editing. So far the company has done jack shit for business, aside from drum up a deal with Juno Therapeutics which gave them $25 million shekels for the boffins to run around and figure some shit out. Cell therapies for cancer is the word on the street.
Under the collaboration, we received an upfront payment of $25.0 million and are eligible to receive research support of up to $22.0 million over the next five years across three programs and approximately $700 million in aggregate in potential research, regulatory, and commercial sales milestone payments for each of the first products developed in each of the three research programs”
In my opinion, funds better allocated here than to the Cancer Industrial Complex, underwriting Susan G Komen’s flaneuristic lifestyle and keeping the ball-gowns selling on 5th avenue.
Take a wager on EDIT in its stead, for the love of THE STOCK GODS.
THE BIG IDEA:
CRISPR’s unprecedented ability to edit genetic code will make possible a new generation of medical treatments, so “they” say. While gene-editing technology has existed for more than 10 years, older methods were expensive and slow. Crispr is low cost and easy to use.
It acts like a pair of molecular scissors, allowing scientists to precisely cut out faulty sections of DNA that can lead to serious illnesses and replace them with healthy ones. In a two-part process, an RNA “guide” molecule first locates the targeted part of the genome, then a Cas9 protein attaches to the DNA to make the cut. In some cases, researchers just want to remove a bad section; in other cases, they can replace it with a new, good strand of DNA.
Per the culture vultures at the New Yorker:
With CRISPR, scientists can change, delete, and replace genes in any animal, including us. Working mostly with mice, researchers have already deployed the tool to correct the genetic errors responsible for sickle-cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, and the fundamental defect associated with cystic fibrosis. One group has replaced a mutation that causes cataracts; another has destroyed receptors that H.I.V. uses to infiltrate our immune system.
Specter continues . . .
Until CRISPR came along, biologists lacked the tools to force specific genetic changes across an entire population. But the system, which is essentially a molecular scalpel, makes it possible to alter or delete any sequence in a genome of billions of nucleotides. By placing it in an organism’s DNA, scientists can insure that the new gene will copy itself in every successive generation. A mutation that blocked the parasite responsible for malaria, for instance, could be engineered into a mosquito and passed down every time the mosquito reproduced. Each future generation would have more offspring with the trait until, at some point, the entire species would have it.
. . . and solicits opinions from the establishment, obviously:
“CRISPR is the Model T of genetics,” Hank Greely told me when I visited him recently, at Stanford Law School, where he is a professor and the director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences. “The Model T wasn’t the first car, but it changed the way we drive, work, and live. CRISPR has made a difficult process cheap and reliable. It’s incredibly precise. But an important part of the history of molecular biology is the history of editing genes.”
And … Per S-1:
Of the estimated 6,000 diseases that are known to be caused by genetic mutations, we believe fewer than 5% are served by approved therapies. Our mission is to translate the promise of our science into a broad class of transformative genomic medicines to benefit the greatest number of patients.
UC Davis chimes in :
“The old technology was clunky and it literally might take us a year to get to a point that Crispr could do in a month — the difference is an order of magnitude,” said Paul Knoepfler, an associate professor of cell biology at the University of California at Davis. “I’ve never really seen something spread that fast and become so ubiquitous in science.” Whatever the pace of innovation, UC Davis’s Knoepfler is convinced that gene editing’s widespread use is inevitable.
“We’re in the beginning of an new era where genetic modification becomes much more mainstream,” he said. “Things are moving much faster now and you have to be ready for a lot of headlines. I’d encourage people to learn more about it — don’t necessarily freak out, but some big things are coming.”
A GLOSSARY OF TERMS + INTRODUCTION TO THE CABAL
CRISPR: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats
GENE-DRIVE TECHNOLOGY: quoting the labrats —
Gene drive achieves rapid changes in a sexually reproducing population because it relies on genes that are capable of preferential spread through generations. Without this, introduced traits meet the statistical obstacle of Mendelian inheritance and take hold in a population much more slowly. Altering wild animal populations using gene drive aims to rapidly disrupt a particular trait, such as the ability of Anopheles mosquitoes to transmit malaria.
Gene drives … work by overriding the traditional rules of genetic inheritance. Normally, the progeny of any organism that reproduces sexually receives half its genome from each parent. Some genetic elements are “selfish,” however: evolution has bestowed on them a better-than-fifty-per-cent chance of being inherited. But, until scientists began to work with CRISPR, which permits DNA to be edited with uncanny ease, they lacked the tools to insure that specific genes have a similar advantage.
That has all changed. Now, by attaching a gene drive to a desired DNA sequence with CRISPR, you could permanently alter the genetic destiny of a species. That’s because, with CRISPR, a change made on one chromosome would copy itself in every successive generation, so that nearly all descendants would inherit the change, dispensing with the random selection involved in sexual reproduction.
CRISPR PATENT BATTLE
Began in 2014, put front and center the debate over how patents can impact scientific progress. Scientists don’t always enforce patents for their work, and some never file for patents at all. But in other cases, patents impede research by making new technologies either unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
UC Berkeley argued that seminal 2012 work by biochemist Jennifer Doudna paved the way for using CRISPR to genetically engineer animal DNA, by revealing that bacterial immune systems employed a system (dubbed CRISPR) that can be repurposed to easily and precisely edit genes. The Broad Institute countered that Feng Zhang’s 2013 breakthrough—adapting CRISPR to engineer plant, animal and human cells—occurred independently. The battle, in other words, was over who came up with the original recipe that led to using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit mammalian DNA. The patent appeal board found that Doudna and Zhang’s recipes were not really for the same thing—Zhang’s work was not the “obvious” extension of Doudna’s, as Berkeley argued, but a separate (and therefore patentable) discovery.
In a brief, one-sentence decision last Wednesday, the US patent office handed the patent for the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, finding that UC Berkeley had not laid the groundwork for one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of this century.
Last week, the US Patent and Trademarks Office ruled on the most-watched patent proceeding of the 21st century: the fight for Crispr-Cas9. The decision was supposed to declare ownership of the rights to the revolutionary gene editing technique. But instead, the patent judge granted sorta-victories to each of the rival parties—a team from UC Berkeley and another with members from both MIT and Harvard University’s Broad Institute. That’s great for those groups (and their spin-off, for-profit gene editing companies with exclusive licenses). But it leaves things a bit murkier for anyone else who wants to turn a buck with gene editing.
The Crispr discoverers now have some authority over who gets to use Crispr, and for what. And while exclusive licenses aren’t rare in biotech, the scope of these do stand out: They cover all the 20,000-plus genes in the human genome. So this week, legal experts are sending a formal request to the Department of Health and Human Services. They want the federal government to step in and bring Crispr back to the people.
Passed in 1980s – the law gives permission for universities to patent—and license—anything their researchers invented with public funds, making it easier to put those inventions back in the hands of citizens.
The right to use CRISPR techniques has been divided into three broad “fields of use”: (i) basic, noncommercial research; (ii) development and sale of tools (kits, reagents, and equipment) that aid CRISPR-based gene editing; and (iii) development, sale, and use of therapeutics and treatments using CRISPR techniques. This last field broadly covers the most commercially significant applications and includes gene editing to develop agricultural products, veterinary medicine, and human diagnostics and therapeutics.
Precisely demarcating these fields of use—especially for a flexible, broadly applicable technology like CRISPR—and awarding appropriate license grants can be challenging. Nonetheless, the institutions have largely granted nonexclusive licenses with respect to noncommercial research and tools development. This means that licensees, including academic researchers, are permitted to engage in these activities, but do not have the right to market and sell products derived from their research. It also means that the CRISPR patent holders are free to grant licenses for their respective technologies to other research institutions. However, in the case of therapeutics and treatments, with few exceptions, exclusive licenses to surrogate companies (Editas, Caribou, or CRISPR Therapeutics) prevent the institution from granting similar licenses to other companies without the surrogate’s permission. Caribou’s exclusive license covers all fields of use, and it has in turn granted an exclusive license in the field of human therapeutics to Intellia Therapeutics.
Jennifer Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier:
Latter is a medical microbiologist who studies pathogens at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany. Former, does some related shit at Berkeley. These womyn are widely viewed as CRISPR’s pioneers within the scientific community. They won a gaggle of prizes that add up to the annucal cost of Steven Schwarzman’s stone-crab habit. In 2012, the duo demonstrated, for the first time, that CRISPR could edit purified DNA. Doudna is a founder of Caribou Biosciences (also a “surrogate” company).
Founding member of Editas. Precocious little fuck. Propeller-head. Googled his way into this business of gene-editing. Everything related to this man going forward will be referred to as Zhang-Banging.
Zhang’s obsession with science began in middle school, when his mother prodded him to attend a Saturday-morning class in molecular biology.
Hellllo, Tiger Mom.
In 1997, when Zhang was fifteen, he was offered an internship in a biosafety facility at the Des Moines Human Gene Therapy Research Institute—but he was told that federal law prohibited him from working in a secure lab until he was sixteen.
In 1999, while still a high-school student, in Des Moines, Zhang found a structural protein capable of preventing retroviruses like H.I.V. from infecting human cells. The project earned him third place in the Intel Science Talent Search, and he applied the fifty thousand dollars in prize money toward tuition at Harvard, where he studied chemistry and physics.
Some says he’s “good for science”, despite being a “jerk, asshole, punk-bitch” — also on the advisory board of Editas, and thought of as a co-founder. He is a founding advisor to cancer genomics company Foundation Medicine and has close ties to venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures, a major investor in the CRISPR company Editas.
Quoting industry wonk :
A conniving little son of a bitch, but the smartest motherfucker in genomics sciences and biomedicine today. He will probably win the Nobel Prize in Biomedicine. Probably the smartest man in science today, other than JPAI. He has a thorough knowledge of biology and a top rate mathematician.
Lander, conveniently penned an “homage to our gurus” piece in Cell while the patent suit was roiling. Feminazis and flunkies alike are making noise that the two womyn responsible for seminal works in this research topics “are being written out of history” (no pussy grabbing), thanks to Lander’s dribble. Some are outraged that Cell, a highly lauded journal wouldn’t disclose that Lander had a conflict of interest in (re)writing the history of CRISPR.
Three years ago, scientists reported that CRISPR technology can enable precise and efficient genome editing in living eukaryotic cells. Since then, the method has taken the scientific community by storm, with thousands of labs using it for applications from biomedicine to agriculture. Yet, the preceding 20 year journey – the discovery of a strange microbial repeat sequence; its recognition as an adaptive immune system; its biological characterization; and its repurposing for genome engineering remains little known. This Perspective aims to fill in this backstory the history of ideas and the stories of pioneers—and draw lessons about the remarkable ecosystem underlying scientific discovery.
A real corker. Berkeley prof, who is pissed that his “gals” got shafted by Lander. Loathes the “system”, yet plays ball. All in all, feels that academics should work at slave-labor wages, discover shit, and eat beans and rice, while other folks get rich off their shit. For the good of mankind! Feminazis globally, jumping on the train saying that the womyn are being “written out of science”, and Eisen agrees. Why the hell wouldn’t you, as a Berkeleyian. Good for marketing, no?
I believe that neither Berkeley nor MIT should have patents on CRISPR, since it is a disservice to science and the public for academic scientists to ever claim intellectual property in their work.
END OF GLOSSARY OF TERMS + INTRODUCTION TO THE CABAL
The boo-birds have this to say:
All of the CRISPR stuff is a gamble. Whatever the outcome, it will be appealed, and in my view could be tied up in litigation for years.
For you ham and eggers who think this is a get rich quick scheme. Think again. Pray that some day you can get that degenerate animal-instinct edited out of your genetic code. Trying to trade this stock is a fool’s game. Buy and sleep. The Junglee will not soft-pedal risks here. Know that this piece of shit could be a widow-maker, or amazonian. No pun intended.
Legit Science yes. Get rich quick scheme, no. Hopium, not quite. Wild ride, yes. Position yourself wisely, duh.
CTRL+C CTRL+V = voila! Can it really be that simple?
Must investigate before going TITS long.
Get your goddam learn on tomorrow at 12PM EST before opening your pie-hole.
Thank you & Good Night.
Your Mutant, Unedited Correspondent,
PS: FUCK SCIENCE, TRADE STOCKS
The way prizes like the Nobel give disproportionate credit to a handful of individuals is an injustice to the way science really works. When accolades are given exclusively to only a few of the people who participated in an important discovery, it by necessity denies credit to countless other people who also deserve it. We should celebrate the long series of discoveries and inventions that brought CRISPR to the forefront of science, and all the people who participated in them, rather than trying to decide which three were the most important.
Says some rando on Eisen’s blog:
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The extreme competition in science promoted by the current funding and promotional system gives many scientists little choice but hype or even distort their research and accomplishments, polluting science with unreproducible data and misleading concepts. This situation is particularly distressing when it happens in bio-medical fields affecting the live and well-being of many people, sometimes millions of people as I think is the case with the field of neurodegenerative diseases (see my comment below).