Really a nice listen, and fits with a lot of talks that I have been watching George Church give lately as part of my DD for Editas.
Not exactly worthy of a 'BOOM' - if you listen closely, he says CRISPRs are still a 4 fold improvement over previous editing technologies and it's clear that on the evolutionary chain he believes it goes - ZFN -> TALEN -> CRISPR.
We here all know and understand the current benefit of ZFNs vs CRISPRs, so I'll try not to rehash that here except to say that George Church adamantly believes that the study that came out recently about CRISPRs having bad off target effects was inherently flawed, and he doesn't believe that CRISPRs are actually that bad.
Part of my reason for thinking of entering a position in Editas now is just how badly that article had hurt all CRISPR related stocks. That said, there is no question they are currently behind SGMO in absolute terms at this time.
George goes on to talk about how it is likely that a new technology will be developed to displace CRISPRs (and ZFNs and TALENs) at some point, in their ability to do 'true' edits, not just break DNA and rely on the cell to repair.
All of this really gets to the point of - you need to make hay while the sun is shining. It was actually probably not typical for Sangamo to have enjoyed as much time as it did in the gene editing space as the only game in town. With CRISPRs that has clearly changed. Sangamo is on the clock now. Those here who think CRISPR off target is going to be Sangamo's saving grace IMO have it wrong. CRISPRs will be used in human therapeutics in the relatively near future. But that doesn't matter. Sangamo is in control of it's own destiny, and it is currently doing what it needs to (except for actually DOSING a patient, come on already!) to survive and thrive.
The attitude of this board of us vs. them I think is perhaps blinding some members to the truth and, accordingly, other potential worthy investments in the space. Sanagmo's success doesn't spell the end to CRISPRs. Quite contrary, it likely reinforces it.
Still very long SGMO, it is my #1 pick, but I have a feeling these CRISPR companies, which are relatively young, will prove to executing much faster and more successfully than Sangamo's track record. For very significant gains from current levels, for both Sangamo and the CRISPR companies, you really only need the promise of 1 commercial success. ZFNs and CRISPRs both share the potential for many. Successful clinical execution is what stands in the way, not the competing companies.