This Revolutionary Technology Is Not Grabbing Headlines… but Fortunes Will Follow

It’s easy to get distracted these days.

North Korea, Charlottesville.

Political turmoil both foreign and domestic keeps roiling the markets.

But it pays to keep our eyes on the ball.

Transformational technology companies are making progress and creating a better future. This trend isn’t going to change anytime soon… and the sun will rise in the morning, too.

History’s most successful investors have followed these trends, taking advantage of low prices brought on by turbulence.

Few people actually do this, however. They stampede and sell when markets are down.

Politics may be what’s on the front page, but behind that front page is the real news for tech and biotech investors.

For example, we’ve been learning that a world with an unlimited supply of transplant tissue is on its way.

This is a really big deal. Some 20,000 people have received a transplant this year from nearly 10,000 donors.

But we’re suffering from a major organ shortage… and the deficit keeps growing over time.

 organ chart

In the United States alone, nearly 120,000 people are on waiting lists for an organ. It could be a liver for someone with cirrhosis. Maybe it’s a kidney for someone else… or perhaps even a heart.

About 610,000 people die of heart disease every year.

But everything could eventually change if the wizards of gene editing have their way. What if we could get those people new hearts?

We’ve discovered a variety of ways to edit genes: ZFN, TALEN… and recently CRISPR.

These are acronyms for technologies that allow us to go in and change DNA sequences and, hence, the genes they code for.

This technology could one day help eliminate a shortage of transplantable organs… by going into pigs.

You heard that right… pigs.

Pigs have all the same organs that humans have, and their size and structure are remarkably similar.

However, we are different species — we’re Homo sapiens and pigs are Sus scrofa domesticus; the organs can’t be transplanted. The human body identifies pig tissues as foreign and rejects them.

But what if we could go in and edit those pig genes responsible for tissue rejection? We could create a new source of working organs for sick humans.

Researchers have recently done just that using CRISPR to edit pig genes. CRISPR is a gene-editing mechanism discovered in bacteria in 2012. Scientists have been using it as a new way to edit genes.

They’ve edited one gene sequence responsible for a retrovirus and raised pigs without it. One day, they might be able to edit all genes responsible for tissue rejection.

This advance of gene-editing technology isn’t going away, and enormously profitable new therapies will emerge from current research.

One biotech, for example, is using gene editing to create “super soldier” immune system cells that once given to a patient, attack and eliminate cancer.

The company recently dosed its first Phase 1 patient with this it newest therapy, creating new T-cells with the company’s proprietary gene-editing technology. And it’s being studied in acute myeloid leukemia (a deadly blood cancer) as well as in other cancers.

We know the potential is huge. The therapy has been used experimentally in patients with nothing left to lose. It has saved the lives of babies with cancer, and today they are growing up when otherwise their time would have been cut very short.

Nukes and neo-Nazis may be grabbing the headlines, but the sky isn’t falling. It’s emerging technology at innovative companies like I discussed today that will make investors rich over time.

To a bright future,

Ray Blanco
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning