CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) shares rose more than 5% during Tuesday's session after CTX001 received a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Fast Track designation. The gene therapy is being developed with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) to treat transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia. The drug candidate is also Fast Tracked for sickle cell disease.
CRISPR Therapeutics launched a Phase I/II open label study in February, and the first patient for its sickle cell study should be infused by the middle of this year. The Fast Track designation will provide more frequent interaction with the FDA and a rolling review for marketing application, which could accelerate the development timeline.
Earlier this week, Evercore ISI initiated coverage of CRISPR Therapeutics stock with an Outperform rating and a $46.00 price target. The analyst believes that the company's ex vivo gene therapy has low-risk pathways to market, while the firm continues to refine its delivery systems for in vivo gene editing. Strong partnerships and clinical execution could also lead to significant near-term clinical news flow, according to the analyst.
From a technical standpoint, the stock briefly broke out from trendline resistance to R1 and 200-day moving average resistance at around $40.56. The relative strength index (RSI) remains at neutral levels of 56.74, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) has trended sideways. These technical indicators provide few hints of where the price may be headed over the coming sessions.
Traders should watch for a rebound from trendline support toward R1 and 200-day moving average resistance at around $40.56 over the coming sessions. If the stock breaks down, traders could see a move back into the symmetrical triangle chart pattern. A breakdown from the lower support and the 50-day moving average at $36.03 could lead to a move to reaction lows of $34.00 or S1 support at $32.71.
The author holds no position in the stock(s) mentioned except through passively managed index funds.