Editas Medicine filed paperwork this morning for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO). The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup would become the first publicly-traded company specializing in gene editing, according to Bloomberg Business.
The company has received financing from such bold-faced names like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google Ventures, the investment arm of Alphabet Inc.
Editas plans to use the gene-editing technology Crispr-Cas9 to alter defective DNA to manufacture new drugs for various diseases like cancer and sickle-cell anemia, writes MIT Technology Review.
The IPO filing indicated an estimated $15 million to $20 million of the proceeds would go toward advancing preclinical studies and clinical trials for its research program on a candidate for an inherited form of progressive blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis.
An approximate $22 million will be allocated toward supporting preclinical studies with Juno Therapeutics, a drug maker specializing in cancer therapies. Editas will spend the rest of the money on improving its technology platform and advancing other preclinical trials.
Gene editing is attracting considerable interest from the pharmaceutical sector because the technology offers a chance to treat complex diseases on a molecular level.
However, more research is still needed to prove the safety and efficacy of the drugs that may emerge from this process.