Editas Medicine

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Editas Medicine
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryPharmaceutical company
United States

Editas Medicine is a discovery-phase pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts which aims to develop therapies based on CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing technology.[1] It was founded in 2013 with funding from Third Rock Ventures, Polaris Partners and Flagship Ventures and licensed CRISPR patents from the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang, patents from Harvard's David Liu and George Church and patents from Partners Healthcare-MGH's J. Keith Joung. These four were co-founders and scientific advisory board members along with Jennifer Doudna.[2][3]

The company went public on 2 Feb 2016.[1] This initial public offering was noted as being the first such from a company which aims to use "DNA itself to internally treat afflictions".[4] The company has stated that “It will be many years, if ever, before we have a product candidate ready for commercialization.”[4] Further, the company's valuation depends on a few patents, some of which are in dispute as of early 2018, presenting a major risk to the company's continued viability.[5][4]

The company entered into a strategic collaboration with Juno Therapeutics in 2015 to combine its CRISPR-Cas9 technology with Juno's experience in creating chimeric antigen receptor and high-affinity T cell receptor therapeutics to the end of developing cancer therapeutics.[6]

The company announced in 2015 that it was planning a clinical trial in 2017 using CRISPR gene editing techniques to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis, a rare genetic illness that causes blindness.[3] On 30 Nov 2018, the FDA gave permission to start clinical trials for the drug, under the investigational name EDIT-101.[7]

Direct competitors to Editas include Crispr Therapeutics, Intellia Therapeutics, and Caribou Biosciences.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The week in science: 5–11 February 2016". Nature. 530 (7589). Business: CRISPR goes public. 10 Feb 2016. doi:10.1038/530134a.open access
  2. ^ John Carroll (Nov 25, 2013). "Biotech pioneer in 'gene editing' launches with $43M in VC cash". FierceBiotech.
  3. ^ a b Regalado, Antonio (2015-11-05). "CRISPR Gene Editing to Be Tested on People by 2017, Says Editas". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  4. ^ a b c d Fye, Shaan (9 Jan 2016). "Genetic Rough Draft: Editas and CRISPR". The Atlas Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  5. ^ Kevin E. Noonan (January 24, 2018). "The CRISPR Chronicles -- Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One". PatentDocs.org.
  6. ^ "Juno, Editas Launch Up-to-$737M+ Cancer Therapy Collaboration". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-11.open access
  7. ^ Sheridan, Cormac (14 December 2018). "Go-ahead for first in-body CRISPR medicine testing". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41587-018-00003-2. Retrieved 21 December 2018.