Crispr Therapeutics AG’s stock CRSP rallied 17% in premarket trade Wednesday, after a positive meeting of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on the gene-editing drug exa-cel developed by Crispr and partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX as a treatment for sickle-cell disease. The FDA has set a Dec. 8 target action date for possible approval of the treatment, which would make it the first approved therapy using the gene-editing technology called Crispr. “Rational thinking prevailed at today’s FDA ad com,” wrote analysts at Evercore ISI, in a note. “We think exa-cel is very likely to be approved by December 8.” The analysts described it as a “clearing event” for Vertex and a “nice win for CRSP, their platform, and important medical advancement for the field and for patients.” Sickle-cell disease is a painful inherited blood disorder that affects an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Americans a year, according to the American Society of Hematology. Crispr’s stock has fallen 4% to date in 2923, while Vertex has gained 25% and the S&P 500 SPX has gained 9%. (Editor’s note: A news-alert bulletin linked to this Market Pulse item misspelled the name of Crispr Therapeutics AG and has been corrected.)
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