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CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) Q3 Earnings Beat, Revenues Lag

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CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2021 net loss per share of $1.67, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.69 but wider than the loss of $1.32 per share in the year-ago period.

CRISPR Therapeutics' total revenues, which comprise grants and collaboration revenues, came in at $0.8 million for the third quarter compared with $0.1 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The top line also substantially missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.9 million.

Please note that the company is solely dependent on Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Free Report) for collaboration revenues.

Shares of CRISPR Therapeutics have plunged 36.8% so far this year compared with the industry’s 8.2% decline.

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Quarter in Detail

For the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $105.3 million, up 48.3% from the year-ago figure due to increased headcount expenses and development costs for advancing the hemoglobinopathies and immuno-oncology programs.

General and administrative expenses also surged 13.1% year over year to $24.4 million due to higher headcount-related costs.

As of Sep 30, 2021, the company had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $2.5 billion compared with $2.6 billion as of Jun 30, 2021.

Pipeline Updates

CRISPR Therapeutics is developing CTX001 — an investigational ex-vivo CRISPR gene-edited therapy for treating sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia — in partnership with Vertex. The candidate is currently in development in a phase I/II study.

The company has achieved target enrollment in both the above studies and expects regulatory submission for the therapy in both indications by 2022-end.

Apart from CTX001, CRISPR Therapeutics is also developing three chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy candidates — CTX110, CTX120, and CTX130 — for the treatment of hematological and solid-tumor cancers.

The phase I CARBON study is evaluating the safety and efficacy of several dose levels of CTX110 for treating relapse/refractory CD19+ B-cell malignancies. Last month, it announced updated positive top-line data from the CARBON study that demonstrated the potential of CTX110 to produce durable remissions that are similar to the approved autologous CD19 CAR-T therapies on an intent-to-treat basis. Based on these results, the company plans to expand the CARBON study into a potential registrational study that is anticipated to begin consolidated dosing in first-quarter 2022.

A phase I study is investigating the safety and efficacy of several dose levels of CTX120 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Two independent ongoing phase I studies are also evaluating the safety and efficacy of several dose levels of CTX130 for treating solid tumors and certain hematologic malignancies.

Based on the updated data from CTX110, the company is also implementing consolidation dosing protocols for CTX120 and CTX130. Top-line data from all these studies are now expected in first-half 2022. Earlier, the company was expected to report the data in 2021.

This apart, CRISPR Therapeutics, along with partner ViaCyte, remains on track to initiate a phase I/II study on their allogeneic stem-cell-derived therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes later in 2021.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

CRISPR Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Alkermes (ALKS - Free Report) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alkermes’ earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $0.61 to $0.68 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $1.06 to $1.11 in the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 53.5% in the year so far.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $54.28 to $63.53 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $44.11 to $46.69 over the same period. The stock has rallied 35% in the year so far.

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