CRSP

3 Reasons to Buy CRISPR Therapeutics Stock Like There's No Tomorrow

As its shareholders already know, CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CRSP) has quite a few opportunities on the table. Between its commercialized medicine, a pipeline that's packed with chances to mint blockbuster drugs, and plenty of financial flexibility, there's no shortage of reasons to buy the stock.

But even for those who appreciate the company's merits, the picture is likely even sunnier than they realize. Here are three reasons why the stock is worth buying.

1. Casgevy is about to start ramping up

CRISPR's first commercialized product, a gene therapy called Casgevy, which treats or functionally cures both sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta thalassemia, is in the midst of its global rollout. Developed in partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Casgevy is now approved for sale in the U.S., E.U., and U.K., as well as several other countries. There are already 25 authorized treatment centers (ATCs) for administering the therapy operating worldwide, with many more slated to open over time.

While the biotech didnt reporteven $1 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2024, that will change rapidly throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Patients have already started the treatment process by having their cells harvested as part of the Casgevy manufacturing process. As more treatment centers open, more patients will be eligible for treatment, and sales will start to roll in.

While that occurs, the business will also be hard at work to improve key aspects of the manufacturing process as it relates to the conditioning regimen that's necessary to prepare patients to have their cells harvested. That's a key concern, as right now it can take many weeks, and it requires a stay in the hospital for a few days.

If those efforts succeed, and eventually they probably will, it'll increase the addressable market size of Casgevy because it'll make the therapeutic process less burdensome for patients.

2. Pipeline programs with huge target markets

CRISPR's research and development (R&D) pipeline features plenty of clinical-stage programs for cell and gene therapies that could one day compete in gargantuan markets, with more on the way.

For example, its CTX 320 program aims to treat atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in people who have elevated lipoprotein A levels. According to iData Acumen, by 2030 the market for similar medicines to treat ASCVD will reach a size of $195.8 billion.

The biotech is also working on another program, CTX 310, which could one day treat or perhaps cure a few different dislipidemias, including high cholesterol with inherited origins. The next step after that could be to refine the program further so that it could be used for general cholesterol reduction, which is a common function of many different cardiovascular medicines. And that's before even getting into the company's many oncology programs, some of which could be broadly applicable to treating a wide array of solid tumors.

It may not be able to execute successfully on all of its attempts, but at this point, it has so many different programs that it will likely succeed with at least a few in the long run. In other words, the pipeline offers many reasons to be bullish for the future.

3. The balance sheet is rock solid

The last reason to buy this stock today is that its balance sheet is looking as good as it gets in biotech. At the end of the first quarter, it had around $2.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments on hand, with zero long-term debt, and only $218.9 million in long-term capital lease obligations.

For reference, its trailing-12-month operating expenses were $433.6 million. So CRISPR Therapeutics has plenty of money, and it can likely easily borrow vast amounts more at a reasonably low interest rate if it needs to. It's under next to no financial pressure, and that means it has a free hand to invest where it sees the best opportunities for growth -- and, when paired with its other merits, that's a reason to buy it.

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Alex Carchidi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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