When an invention or research is still in the laboratory, we call it still in the “in-progress” stage.Pregnancy“. The applications from this research have not appeared in real life and therefore the world has not changed.
Ordinary people cannot benefit from this invention yet.
But when an aspiring entrepreneur starts to see the potential of that invention, he will start a startup, or maybe the scientists themselves will start a spin company- off from their own lab to commercialize their research.
At this point, a small population in a niche market begins to benefit.
What’s next? If research wins over the cashier minds of mega-companies, the applications of its findings will sooner or later explode. A large number of customers will have the opportunity to use the work of scientists – after the tycoons see the market potential to bring them profit.
The world will now officially change.
Take mRNA vaccine technology as an example. These molecules have been conceived in laboratories around the world since the 1960s. However, none of us know about mRNA and even the quiet founding of two research start-ups. researched it in 2008 (Moderna) and 2010 (BioNTech).
The mRNA vaccine studies remain under the radar of the vast majority of the public. It was not until pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer entered the game that the whole world benefited from the research of scientists, specifically an mRNA vaccine.
The role of Big Pharma, or giants in the pharmaceutical industry, in bringing biomedical research applications to life is undeniable. Just look at the number of vaccines that Modera and Pfizer combined with BioNTech delivered.
Moderna represents a start-up that currently delivers just over 600 million doses of vaccine worldwide. While also mRNA vaccines, BioNTech’s figure when combined with giant Pfizer is around 2.3 billion doses.
Another Big Pharma, AstraZeneca, also partnered with the University of Oxford to help bring nearly 2.5 billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to market – something a research unit like Oxford certainly cannot do on its own.
So no matter what research gets to Big Pharma, it has a chance to change the world. This story is now being repeated with the gene editing technology CRISPR and the investor at this time continues to be Pfizer.
Jennifer Doudna talks about her invention of the gene editing tool CRISPR in a 2015 TED Talk. In 2020, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And in 2022, this field is witnessing a wave of investments by Big Pharma.
Big Pharma begins to jump into the field of gene editing
Bloomberg recently reported that the pharmaceutical giant has completed a $1.35 billion deal with Beam Therapeutics, a company that owns and develops a CRISPR gene-editing technique aimed at treating a times and ends dozens of genetic diseases.
CRISPR is a gene segment discovered in 1987 in bacteria. But it wasn’t until 2012 that scientists figured out how to use it as a gene editing tool. Two scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their invention.
Beam Therapeutics is a spin-off company born in 2017 from the lab of chemistry professor David Liu and colleagues at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There they work on super-precise CRISPR gene-editing methods that can cut each “alphabet” one of the 3 billion human genetic code.
Up to 60% of the genetic diseases we know today arise from a single typo in the human genome. Therefore, the application potential of the ultra-precise CRISPR technology that Beam Therapeutics is developing is huge.
Before making its IPO and being valued at up to $4.8 billion in the market in 2020, Beam Therapeutics worked on developing its CRISPR therapy for more than a dozen genetic diseases.
Most recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved allowing this company to conduct another clinical trial of a treatment for sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder. affects nearly 50 million people worldwide. It is expected that in 2022, the first patients will be treated with Beam Therapeutics’ CRISPR therapy.
The company is also applying for FDA approval for another clinical trial in patients with leukemia. The framework of the partnership between Pfizer and Beam Therapeutics concerns the CRISPR therapies for liver, musculoskeletal and CNS diseases that the company is developing.
Pfizer said in its first year it will invest $300 million in Beam Therapeutics, followed by $1.05 billion in other potential payouts. If the therapies are successfully developed, the partnership will be somewhat like the alliance between Pfizer and BioNTech on the COVID-19 vaccine deal.
Accordingly, Pfizer will sell commercial products and Beam Therapeutics will be paid for their patent rights.
A wave of investments could change the world
The partnership between Pfizer and Beam Therapeutics marks the first participation of a Big Pharma in the field of next-generation gene editing, precisely down to the genetic code.
Previously, this next-generation CRISPR tool had only received the attention of biotech companies such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Moderna. They have partnered with gene-editing startups, hoping to develop the technology to tackle certain diseases or create a better editing method.
Until recently, Big Pharma remained largely on the sidelines. Novartis is the only major pharmaceutical company to enter the field since December 2014, when it partnered with Intellia Therapeutics to develop several CRISPR treatments but has only just moved into clinical trials. early stage.
Gene editing industry leaders recently predicted that 2022 could be the year Big Pharma gives serious consideration to this new technology. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s deal with Beam Therapeutics is clearly the first shot to prove it.
Giuseppe Ciaramella, Beam Therapeutics’ chief scientific officer, said Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, two other pharmaceutical giants, are also building programs for RNA research – but could evolve naturally into gene-editing research anywhere when.
“Once you do that, I think gene editing becomes an obvious application.” Ciaramella said. This means you will soon see its applications beyond hospitals, even private clinics.
Devyn Smith, CEO of Arbor Biotechnologies, a gene-editing startup, also predicts that when the technology shows potential, Big Pharma will start doing more of it within the year. now.
Samarth Kulkarni, CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics, said he expected that wave as well. “Big Pharma is waking up to the field of gene editing“, Kulkarni said.
As for Beam Therapeutics, which recently received a $1.35 billion deal from Pfizer, its CEO, John Evans, hopes Big Pharma’s appetite for gene-editing technology will give more impetus. This branch of science and application develops.
“This field is expanding, and the pharmaceutical companies are certainly interested in that, they pay attention to it. I expect if the field continues to grow as it is, all of them. [các Big Pharma] There will definitely be more jumping in.” Evans said.
Consult Businessinsider, Bloomberg, Barrons