By Jeff Brown, editor, Early Stage Trader
That’s how many new cancer cases are estimated to have been diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. And that’s just in the United States. Globally, there were 17 million new cases of cancer in 2018. When official figures for 2019 are tallied, they’ll likely be higher.
The cost to patients for treating this disease is staggering. Projections estimate that the United States will spend $173 billion on cancer treatment in 2020. Individual treatments can run over $100,000.
And the human toll is heartbreaking. According to the CDC, cancer is the second most common cause of death in America.
I don’t write this lightly. I understand what a terrible human toll this disease has taken. I’m sure everybody reading this has been impacted in some way. But I believe there is reason to be optimistic.
As a technologist, I believe technology has the power to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. And I believe finding a cure for cancer will be a challenge that technology overcomes.
Today, I want to talk about one of the technologies that is contributing in a surprising way…
Software Editing for Your Genome
The technology I’m referring to is CRISPR-Cas9.
It stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR Associated Protein 9.
It’s a mouthful. I usually just call it “CRISPR.”
My longtime readers likely already know. But think of CRISPR as a software development platform for “hacking” plant, animal, and human genomes (your genetic material).
It is a way to program the genome and remove the “bugs” – or, in genetic terms, the “mutations” – from DNA. Genetic editing can be used to “fix,” or improve, the genetics of any living thing.
There are more than 6,000 diseases caused by genetic mutations. Worse, 95% of them have no approved therapy or treatment.
As incredible as it sounds, CRISPR has the potential to cure all of them.
To say that this technology is revolutionary is an understatement.
And early indication is that CRISPR works.
Late last year, I attended the 2019 STAT Summit. 2019 was the inaugural summit, and it has immediately become one of the premier conferences in the world of medicine and bioscience.
One of the most incredible presentations at the summit came from Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) CEO Jeffrey Leiden.
Vertex has been working with CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) on a therapy for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Bad mutations in the hemoglobin gene cause these blood disorders. The therapy is CTX001.
And Leiden stated directly, “We have essentially cured these diseases. We have cracked the biology of sickle cell and beta [thalassemia].”
Of course, it is not FDA approved yet. The next step for Vertex is to expand the clinical trials to another 45 patients. I’m expecting identical results to the first two patients.
But going off Leiden’s comments, it appears CRISPR technology has cured these diseases caused by genetic mutations.
But CRISPR is doing more than just treating genetic disease. It’s playing a surprising role in the fight to cure cancer.
Huge news came out in the fight against cancer last week.
Researchers from Cardiff University discovered an unusual T cell capable of killing a wide range of cancers. They published the details in Nature Immunology, which is a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
T cells are a type of white blood cell that seeks out and kills abnormal cells in the body, like cancer cells. We’ve known about them for a long time now. And we already have specific cancer treatments, like CAR T therapies, that leverage T cells for treatment.
But these treatments only work against a small number of cancers. They just aren’t effective against most cancer types.
That’s why this discovery is so incredible. In testing, researchers at Cardiff found that this specific type of T cell could find and kill cells linked to lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney, and cervical cancers… all while leaving healthy cells intact.
The ramifications here are extraordinary. What if we had a single treatment that could be used to cure cancer once and for all? That’s potentially what we are talking about here.
And here’s an interesting twist that caught my eye – how did the researchers find these unusual T cells?
Well, they used CRISPR-Cas9 genetic-editing technology…
We just keep finding more and more applications for this amazing technology. In this case, it was used for the discovery of a certain kind of T cell.
So, what are the investment implications for CRISPR?
Sky Is the Limit
Right now, I suspect that CRISPR technology is unknown by 99% of investors. But as this technology improves, and as we develop more treatments for disease with this technology, that will change fast.
I estimate the total market opportunity for therapies derived from CRISPR-Cas9 genetic editing to exceed $1 trillion. Essentially, the sky is the limit.
One of my favorite companies working with this technology is Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX). It’s the company I mentioned above. Already, my readers are up 50% with this stock. And I expect it to go higher in the long run.
I hope you’re ready. Medicine as we know it is on the verge of changing for good. And it’s not years away.
It’s happening right now.
Editor, Early Stage Trader
P.S. We’re on the cusp of curing diseases that were once thought untreatable. 99% of investors don’t realize this. But they will soon. I believe fortunes will be made in weeks or even days with the right biotech stocks.
I can say this because I’ve spent five years studying a select group of these stocks. And what I noticed is that a small percentage can soar hundreds of percent in days or even hours. And I’ve developed the system to pinpoint them.
If you’d like to see the evidence for yourself, go right here.
But please don’t delay. This presentation will come offline at midnight tonight. Go here.