CRISPR Could Yield $25B in Revenues by 2030

Jack Murtha

Why Frost & Sullivan expects the genome-editing technology to be a financial boon.

Image has been modified. Courtesy of RicardoGuimaraes, Wikimedia Commons

Watch out, Wall Street.

Companies using applications of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) genome-editing technology might rake in as much as $25 billion in revenues by the 2030s, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, the respected growth partnership firm with a bent on innovation, especially as it pertains to healthcare.

Often touted as a foundation-shaking advancement, CRISPR enables experts to alter certain pieces of genetic code and to edit DNA, helping them create new diagnostic tools, therapeutics, and more. It allows them to modify genes in living cells, with the promise to eventually alter mutations, among other things, according to the Broad Institute.

But, of course, the start-ups and bigger organizations exploring the technology must continue to refine their offerings and how they use CRISPR, according to Frost & Sullivan.

“CRISPR has gained strong traction from the global research community because of its huge potential in diverse applications,” said Piyush Bansal, an analyst in the firm’s Transformational Healthcare Industry program. “Companies operating in CRISPR research tools for human therapeutics applications need to expand and strengthen their product portfolios because researchers typically prefer the single-vendor model to ensure compatibility across different products and tools.”

For that reason, he added, the industry will likely see several mergers and acquisitions in the future.

Small and big companies alike have invested in CRISPR, as have the National Institutes of Health and other government bodies, leading to “significant growth in new product and application development,” according to Frost & Sullivan. That buy-in has led to market and revenue growth opportunities for therapeutics and even agriculture biotechnology.

So far, the sector has seen a “large number” of partnerships and licensing; a “strong focus” on the development of therapeutics, spearheaded by big pharma, which is interested in drug discovery; the rise of gene-edited agricultural products; and a “favorable regulatory environment,” bolstering the market and drawing newcomers to the field, according to the report.

But not everything is so rosy. A battle over a patent, for instance, has slowed investment in CRISPR. Big-money players are waiting until the University of California and the Broad Institute settle the matter before investing in the technology, according to Frost & Sullivan.

From here, ethical matters could affect legal and regulatory issues, the report noted. “Therefore, all industry participants need to create and adopt industry-wide application patterns and guidelines to avoid possibly large-scale negative implications,” Bansal said.