These gene-editing startups are aiming to solve one of CRISPR’s biggest problems. Here’s how they could upend biotech in 2022.

A new crop of biotechs is looking to either improve CRISPR or develop new gene-editing techniques — and 2022 may be a crucial year in proving their value.

For all its jaw-dropping potential, the limits of CRISPR have become clearer in recent years. It can only be delivered to specific places in the body, and a lack of precision can lead to unexpected side effects. To improve this technology, startups are developing ways to more precisely edit genetic code than CRISPR. Others are working on editors that are smaller in size, hoping this may eventually allow CRISPR to reach more places in the body and treat more diseases.

These companies, most of them privately held and founded in the past few years, have persuaded investors to bet hundreds of millions that they can develop editing systems that are better than CRISPR. The startups are pitching themselves as developing the next generation of gene-editing technology, but they need to show investors what they bring to the table that the original CRISPR companies don’t.

“Every year from here moving forward will be more and more important,” said Benjamin Oakes, the CEO of Scribe Therapeutics. “The era of CRISPR is just beginning.”




Scribe Therapeutics



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