Editas Medicine's Stock Soars After Favorable Ruling In CRISPR Patent Dispute

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Editas Medicine Inc.'s stock spiked by more than 30% in Wednesday trading, putting it on course for its biggest one-day gain since it went public a year ago, after reports of a favorable decision in a closely watched patent dispute. Editas has an exclusive license to medical breakthroughs stemming from the use of patents awarded to co-founder Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute for CRISPR, a gene-editing technique. The Broad, which is affiliated with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been in a dispute with University of California at Berkeley on those patents. Cal scientists developed the technology behind CRISPR, and the Broad showed how it could be used to edit genes in specific species, leading to a dispute over who could claim ownership. Stat News and others reported Wednesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had ruled in the Broad's favor, though the USPTO told MarketWatch that the decision would not be made public until Thursday. Cambridge, Mass.-based Editas suddenly jumped after the news hit Wednesday, trading near $25 a share after opening at $18.71. It has rallied 51% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.8%. Among other companies affected by the patent ruling, shares of CRISPR Therapeutics AG tumbled 14% and Intellia Therapeutics Inc.'s stock dropped 12%.

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