HomeMarket NewsSmall CapsEditas Medicine Faces Challenges in Sickle Cell Therapy Market: Analyst Report

Editas Medicine Faces Challenges in Sickle Cell Therapy Market: Analyst Report

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According to a recent analysis by Cantor Fitzgerald, Editas Medicine Inc (EDIT) has been downgraded to Neutral from Overweight. The downgrade comes as Editas’ sickle cell therapy, EDIT-301, faces tough competition from Vertex Pharmaceuticals/CRISPR Therapeutics AG’s (CRSP) exa-cel and Bluebird Bio Inc’s (BLUE) lovo-cel.

The Cantor analysts, Eric Schmidt and Rick Bienkowsk, highlight that Editas’ EDIT-301 is running about two years behind its competitors in terms of progress. Editas is aiming to generate clinical data on reduced organ damage, which could take years to produce.

Editas is setting itself apart by leveraging two key elements: a highly selective Cas12a nuclease and a unique molecular strategy for inducing HbF. However, Cantor questions whether highlighting nuclease selectivity is the best approach when it comes to ex vivo gene editing, where control over off-target edits is crucial. In addition, surpassing exa-cel and lovo-cel in HbF production may prove to be a significant challenge for Editas.

The analysts also note that it remains unclear whether EDIT-301 can demonstrate sufficient clinical differentiation from its competitors. While all three cell therapies for sickle cell disease may have favorable benefit-risk profiles, factors such as manufacturing challenges, complex administration procedures, and cost considerations could hinder widespread adoption.

Furthermore, Cantor suggests that the development of EDIT-301 may not lead to significant value creation, as the gene editing space becomes increasingly crowded with new entrants. The analysts point out that monetizing intellectual property in this commoditized field may not be straightforward.

As of the latest check, Editas Medicine’s shares (EDIT) are down 4.68% at $6.92.

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