Jul 7, 2021 • 1HR 48M

#43: Gene-Editing - The Next Game-Changing Technology?

with Tilmann Buerckstuemmer and Thomas Moser, Aelian Biotechnology

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Investing in Life Science

In 2021 I thought it is a smart idea to shine more light on life science companies, as more and more people and institutions got interested in investments in the pharmaceutical industry.

The life science b2b value chain is one of the most complex ones. Without deep insight into science, it is challenging to judge from the outside which companies technology and the team will thrive and which not.

All that changed with the pandemic as many people wanted to help move innovative vaccines and therapies forward.

The Genomics Revolution

Yet already in 2014, Cathie Wood started Ark Invest, which manages ETFs based on what she calls disruptive Platforms of Innovation.

In the Big Ideas Reports 2017201820192020, and 2021 she highlighted those Platforms and presented the most recent developments in these fields every year.

One of those 5 Platforms of Innovation is the Genomics RevolutionHer fund invests in companies that are moving innovation forward in these areas:

  • CRISPR

  • Targeted Therapeutics

  • Bioinformatics

  • Molecular Diagnostics

  • Stem Cells

  • Agricultural Biology

Since its inception, the companies in the ARK Genomics Revolution ETF delivered a return of almost 30 percent each year. This is roughly three times the average annual return of an S&P 500 ETF.

CRISPR Stocks Skyrocketed Since the Recording

So I thought it would be a smart idea to chat with experts from the LSG2G community about this promising technology.

Between the recording and publishing the episode something significant happened:

Intellia Therapeutics to Present Interim Clinical Data from Ongoing Phase 1 Study of NTLA-2001 for the Treatment of Transthyretin (ATTR) Amyloidosis at the 2021 Peripheral Nerve Society Annual Meeting Data to offer insight into safety and pharmacodynamics of NTLA-2001, the first-ever systemically administered in vivo CRISPR therapy candidate Read more…

Intellia is the company of Jennifer Doudna. She and Emmanuelle Charpentier were awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry "for the development of a method for genome editing" (through CRISPR).

The data readout called a "landmark" by H.C. Wainwright analyst Michael King, Jr. fueled sharp gains in peers focused on CRISPR technology including Beam Therapeutics (BEAM), Editas Medicine(EDIT), and CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP).

Aelian Biotechnology

So, it is about time to shine a light on these hot topics in the LSG2G Podcast series. The intention of this episode is to help to make deeptech science understandable for retail investors and institutions that are new to life science.

Aelian Biotechnology is one of the companies that are positioned in this field in one of the European hotspots of Gene Editing: Vienna. The company combines CRISPR screening with single-cell RNA sequencing, leveraging two transformative technologies to enable genetic screening for complex phenotypes.

It utilizes the CRISPR screening workflow to map the impact of thousands of genetic perturbations on the global transcriptome at single-cell resolution, thus effectively establishing a paradigm for next-generation CRISPR screens.

The powerful approach has broad applications in identifying novel drug targets or elucidating unknown mechanisms of actions of drugs.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with the founders

about the past, present, and future of the Genomics Revolution.

In this episode, we will cover questions like:

  • How to create a novel life science company focusing on Gene Editing.

  • What is Gene Editing?

  • Why is there so much excitement around Genomics, CRISPR, and Gene Sequencing?

  • Where does it all come from?

  • What developments are already in the pipeline that will change society?

Timestamps:

For those who want to listen to specific parts of the episode, here are the timestamps:

(00:00) Introduction

(02:23) Introduction Thomas Moser

(05:45) Introduction Tilmann Bürckstümmer

(08:40) Aelian Biotechnology

(10:20) The Science Behind Aelian

(17:50) Life Science Business Model

(27:00) How to Setup Business Relationships in Life Science

(34:35) Gene Editing - Why Did it Create Such a Hype?

(41:00) History of Gene Editing with Insights Into CRISPR/Cas9

(45:30) Vienna - Part of The CRISPR Community

(47:50) IP of CRISPR

(50:00) CRISPR - Real Life Use Cases

(55:05) CRISPR in Cancer Research

(59:20) Are Genetically Altered Human Beings Possible?

(01:04:20) Genetically Enhanced Human Beings - Reality or SciFi?

(01:08:00) Gene Editing and its Role in Agriculture

(01:12:00) SARS-CoV-2 - What Role Did CRISPR Play in Fighting the Pandemic?

(01:12:20) CRISPR Screen for SARS-CoV-2 - Technology of Aelian Biotechnology

(01:15:00) Drug Discovery for SARS-CoV-2 with CRISPR

(01:18:00) Fundraising for Life Science Companies

(01:27:00) Comparison of the Investment Culture in Europe and the United States

(01:31:00) Major Players in the CRISPR Field

(01:32:00) CRISPR - IP Landscape

(01:44:00) Final Question: Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs


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