Ben Benoy Economy and MarketsOne of the most novel scientific breakthroughs in our lifetime – the CRISPR technique that allows scientists to locate and precisely edit bits of DNA from bacteria, animals and humans ‑ is now in dispute at the U.S. Patent Office. Potentially billions of dollars in royalty revenue from direct and related technology are at stake – technology that could one day wipe out certain human diseases and make food sources more reliable.

The ownership fight is between a biochemist from the University of California, Berkeley named Jennifer Doudna, and a biologist from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT named Feng Zheng.

Doudna submitted her patent application for the core CRISPR technology in May 2012, while Zheng submitted his similar patent application in December 2012. The controversy comes about because, although Zheng submitted his application seven months after Doudna, he received the official patent in April 2014 after requesting a fast-track process.

Talk about working the system!

Venture capital to the tune of $1 billion has already been generated to fund the initial startups of both Doudna and Zheng, who started Caribou Bioscience and Editas Medicine, respectfully.

Even commercial biotech companies, such as Juno Therapeutics (Nasdaq: JUNO), have a stake in the game with milestone payments of $230 million per successful cancer treatment to Editas Medicine.

The panel that will decide the issue is currently underway and I’m tracking the impact of this case closely via my social media collective intelligence system. In the past we’ve been able to get a jump on the market by discovering emerging trends in social media before they hit mainstream news.

Standby for word on the final decision… because the ripple effect could impact the entire DNA-editing industry!

Ben Benoy

Ben Benoy
Editor, BioTech Intel Trader


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Ben Benoy
Ben Benoy is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has been an active retail trader since 2006. He identifies investment opportunities based on key social media trends. He first identified the concept in 2008 and has since developed a tool for tracking investment “chatter” between social media users. His proprietary Social Media Stock Sentiment system has developed into a state-of-the-art platform that identifies and classifies chatter about stocks through algorithms and other indicators to forecast stock-price direction. Ben’s track record speaks for itself — over the past 12 months, his system boasts a win rate of 82.2% on 112 stock trades.