You know I’m a data geek.
Why else would I spend decades and dollars developing a quantitative analysis system?
I’m also a bit of a software geek. Whether we realize it or not, we all are, at least in this day and age.
Part of it is my fondness for data. Instead of reading the news with my morning coffee, I’m more inclined to open up an Excel spreadsheet and create pivot tables.
But I’d also be lost without word processing software because of the writing I do, emails I send, data I enter… and just about everything else in our digital world.
It’s hard to imagine, but it wasn’t all that long ago that everything had to be written by hand. The first commercially successful typewriter – and, therefore, keyboard – wasn’t produced until the 1870s.
And here’s where it gets really scary: Correction fluid to cover mistakes wasn’t invented until 1951, when Bette Nesmith Graham, the executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust, got sick of retyping whole pages because of one stupid mistake. So, she invented Liquid Paper to cover the mistake – not perfectly but satisfactorily.
For 80 years, most typing had to be flawless. Just the thought of that would have kept me up at night.
Thank goodness for computers, keyboards, and software. We can find the mistake, fix it, and there’s no sign it was ever there to begin with.
No fluids, tape, or cursing required.
Now if we could just fix other problems the same way.
Amazingly, we can. And best of all, we’re on the path to curing some diseases by “editing” the genes that cause them.
What an opportunity for us as patients… and as investors.
Editing Our Body’s Owner’s Manual
Our genes are our body’s “owner’s manual.” They contain all the information and instructions for us to grow, develop, and function.
Unfortunately, that owner’s manual is hidden deep in our DNA and doesn’t come with a “print” button. It took a massive international effort, called the Human Genome Project, 13 years (1990-2003) and $3 billion to “map” the human genome.
Eight years after that, the brilliant founder of Apple (AAPL), Steve Jobs, was battling pancreatic cancer. He spent $100,000 to sequence his DNA in the hopes of finding a successful treatment.
“I’m either going to be one of the first to be able to outrun a cancer like this, or I’m going to be one of the last to die from it,” he said. Unfortunately, he died later that year, but not before proving once again that he was ahead of his time.
You can now get your genomes mapped for about $600, less than the cost of a Nvidia share at today’s price. I saw one company advertising whole genome sequencing for just $399.
The successful mapping of the human genome also paved the way for an amazing innovative technology to edit defective genes, similar to word processing. We can search and find the mistake, delete it entirely, or replace it with what’s correct.
The first-ever gene-editing therapy was just approved two months ago on Dec. 8, and it was based on a technology developed by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. They were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology.
Or, as The Nobel Prize Committee put it: “Genetic scissors: a tool for rewriting the code of life.”
Source: CRISPR Therapeutics/www.crisprtx.com
The two scientists published a paper in 2012 on using this technology to edit genes in a test tube. In only 11 years, a treatment based on this next-generation technology was developed and approved.
Cas9 is an enzyme that cuts our DNA – the scissors the Nobel Prize Committee referred to. Guide RNA carries the enzyme to the precise point where the break is needed. It then causes the double-stranded DNA to unwind and pair the RNA. As the break occurs, the flawed gene is disrupted, deleted, or corrected.
The first gene editing therapy approvals are both for blood disorders caused by genetic defects – sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. The patient’s cells are collected in the blood. Those cells are edited to correct the problem and then infused back into the patient.
Now imagine expanding gene editing to other diseases and conditions. It is already being studied for uses in Alzheimer’s, cancers, high cholesterol, and even alopecia (hair loss). It is also being looked at as a potential treatment for infectious diseases.
The possibilities are amazing.
Investing in “Exponential Progress”
It’s an admittedly overused expression, but gene editing really could be a game changer that improves and prolongs lives.
The fact that it took just 11 years to go from developing the technology in a test tube to an approved treatment is astounding. And it illustrates how breakthroughs are happening faster and faster.
If you think about medical advancements since the beginning of time, most have come in the last century… even the last few decades. We call this exponential progress.
Exponential progress is progress that multiplies in power and scope with each step. Every new step or advancement is larger than the one that came before it.
Breakthroughs are bigger and faster. Companies grow bigger and faster.
Gene editing is so new as a commercial treatment that most “pure play” companies are not yet ready for prime time. For example, Dr. Charpentier, who co-developed the CRISPR/Cas9 technology also co-founded CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP).
As exciting as the future looks, I would be hesitant to invest in CRSP in the present. It’s still too speculative at this point. Its Quantum Score is 62.1, which is quite good. But it’s driven almost entirely by technical strength as shares have soared 80% since the beginning of November on the recent positive news.
Source: TradeSmith Finance and MAPsignals.com
Notice the Fundamental Score of 33.3, which is quite low. That’s not a knock against the company. It’s just reality at this point. The company is not yet profitable, and both sales and earnings are still inconsistent.
That makes it difficult to predict future price movement with the probability of success that I need to see. I can count on a roughly 70% probability of success with my system when the data shows strong fundamentals and technicals as well as Big Money flowing in. CRSP isn’t at that point yet.
The company I just recommended has been around a while and is a leader in other established areas while also working in technology of the future. Its Quantum Score is 72.4, which is right in the zone I look for. And it’s supported by fundamentals and technicals that also rate in the 70s.
We’re fortunate as people and investors to live in a time when exponential progress is occurring in almost every industry on the planet – including health care.
There are multiple ways to profit. Just be sure the companies have those three essential factors that best forecast future profits – fundamental strength, technical momentum, and the biggest investors on the planet putting money into them.
Editor, Jason Bodner’s Power Trends
P.S. My new recommendation that’s involved in gene editing is also testing a possible new pain treatment that could provide a desperately needed alternative to opioids.
Investors are highly interested in this product, and the company expects more data soon… possibly this quarter.
Click here now if you’d like to learn more about my brand new recommendation, my system for picking stocks, and why now is a good time to buy.