Shares of Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) were tumbling 13% lower this week as of the market close on Thursday, based on data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company presented at the virtual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Wednesday. However, Editas had a generally positive message about its plans for 2022.
So why are Editas Medicine’s shares falling so much? Biotech stocks, in general, have experienced declines this week. The overall sell-off appears to be dragging Editas down in the wake.
There’s also a possibility that investors are concerned that CRISPR base-editing therapies will steal the thunder from the CRISPR approach that Editas uses. Editas Medicine CEO James Mullen specifically mentioned base editing in his comments at the J. P. Morgan conference and seemed a bit defensive.
It’s hard for any stock to swim against the tide when a larger decline is underway. For investors who like Editas’ prospects, the pullback this week could present a good buying opportunity. However, the stock remains highly risky with its lead pipeline candidate only in early-stage testing.
What about the threat from base editing? Perhaps there is some reason to worry over the long run. However, it’s important to note that one of the leaders in base editing, Beam Therapeutics, also saw its shares fall quite a bit this week. And that decline came despite Beam picking up a key collaboration with Pfizer.
There are plenty of potential catalysts ahead for Editas. The company expects to report more results from its early-stage study of EDIT-101 in treating Leber congenital amaurosis 10, a rare genetic eye disease, in the second half of 2022. It also plans to announce initial clinical data for EDIT-301 in treating sickle cell disease this year.
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