Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NTLA) is a biotech company working on a gene-editing technique called CRISPR/Cas9, which is a relatively new technology that would enable scientists to develop therapies for serious conditions that are difficult to treat with the existing methods.
CRISPR technology allows researchers to alter DNA sequences, modify gene function, correct genetic disorders, besides preventing the spread of a certain disease. Intellia, which went public in 2016, is currently working on several therapies using the technology. If successful, it will be a massive breakthrough in the field of medicine, as the technology can potentially treat disorders that are impossible to fix right now. However, most of Intellia’s programs are still in the initial stage, and it has not been able to roll out any product so far.
Nevertheless, Intellia has enough funds to continue its research and development activities. It has inked partnerships with several leading pharmaceutical companies in recent years. Moreover, it received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last year. The aid was intended to sponsor its research on developing a therapy for vivo sickle cell disease (SCD) using CRISPR technology.
Intellia stock value has increased significantly over the last three months. The surge was mainly driven by positive developments in the company’s pre-clinical studies. For instance, Intellia announced last month that its targeted liver gene insertion technique has accomplished the physiological protein levels of human alpha-1 antitrypsin in non-human primates (NHPs) stably and durably following a single administration.
NTLA shares hit a new 52-week high of $77.34 in the mid-day trading Thursday after the company outlined its strategic priorities and offered information about development milestones it expects to achieve this year. Overall, the stock has climbed more than 260 percent over the past three months, including Thursday’s surge.