Gene-editing stocks may have disappointed lately but Cathie Wood still sees them as a big opportunity for long-term investors, and highlighted three favorites. Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, said she likes CRISPR Therapeutics, Intellia Therapeutics and Editas Medicine , in a CNBC Pro Talks on Wednesday . The investor added that she's particularly focused on companies that use CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome. "Apple is a one to $2 trillion market cap… and deservedly so. It has changed our lives, but it has not cured disease," she said. "The three companies that I just mentioned, cumulatively they are not even above $40 billion. This is a trillion dollar plus opportunity. Any company involved in CRISPR-Cas9 will have to pay royalties to these companies. And we hope a lot of other pharma companies and others get involved. It won't be competition it will be ringing the cash register for these companies." CRISPR is focused on sickle cell anemia, but the company's next focus is on getting edited cells to the brain, heart and other muscles. Its latest breakthrough , in June of this year, was the result of a trial between Regeneron and Intellia, in which they delivered CRISPR into a body for the first time as an IV infusion. Gene editing stocks offer big promises to the future of healthcare but tend to burn lots of cash and face regulatory hurdles. They've also faced some setbacks recently from clinical trials, but Wood shared some of their success stories with human trials and said she's confident in the conviction of their companies' scientists — especially when their stock is down. "I can tell during a period when they've been slammed because of bad news elsewhere in the genomic space, I can tell the conviction in their eyes — this is working, this is curing disease," she said. "I really love speaking with them when the chips are down, because that's when you see the conviction." CRISPR Therapeutics is currently down 47.02% for the year and Editas has fallen 52.57%. Intellia, however, has risen 114.96% this year. Wood is also bullish on Teladoc , which is the top holding in the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF and heavily weighted in other ARK funds as well. "If we look at how artificial intelligence, DNA sequencing, genomic editing and other gene therapies are going to converge, we see a company in Teladoc that is going to be directing patients, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies in what is becoming a very complicated and exciting world," she said.
Catherine Wood, chief executive officer of ARK Investment Management LLC, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021.
Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gene-editing stocks may have disappointed lately but Cathie Wood still sees them as a big opportunity for long-term investors, and highlighted three favorites.