CRISPR Gene Editing Pioneer Condemns Embyro Editing

Three of the pioneers in the use of CRISPR-Cas9 were Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna, and Feng Zhang. Doudna and Zhang helped launch Editas Medicine in 2013, but Doudna left the following year and joined Intellia Therapeutics.

Intellia Therapeutics currently has a valuation of over $700 million. Editas is worth over $1.3 billion. As a chief scientist and co-discover of CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna clearly has a substantial amount of shares in Editas and Intellia.

Unsurprisingly Doudna released a statement condemning the controversial gene editing of human embryos.

It is essential that this news not detract from the many important clinical efforts to use CRISPR technology to treat and cure disease in adults and in children. Public and transparent discussion of the many uses of genome editing technology must continue, as is happening over the next three days at the Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong.

Human gene editing of embryos is highly controversial. Large shareholder in CRISPR companies hates any controversial use of CRISPR that could trigger any backlash against the business of CRISPR.