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Should Investors Be Worried About Editas' Share Decline?

In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 22, Fool.com contributors Brian Orelli and Keith Speights discuss the recent downturn in Editas Medicine's (NASDAQ: EDIT) stock price and the biotech's change in management. The valuation is an issue in the short term, but the long-term prospects of the gene-editing company still look sound even with a new executive in the corner office.

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Brian Orelli: Teresa asks if we could talk about the recent news on management changes, and then somebody else said should Editas be put in the penalty box as of late, the performance has been terrible, ticker there is EDIT. Any thoughts on Editas? We talked about it I think a couple of weeks ago, or maybe it was last week, I don't know, everything's blending together.

Keith Speights: Their CEO change was unexpected, at least to me. I don't think it's necessarily a bad change though. The person that they've brought in has been on the board for quite a while and definitely has solid expertise and knows Editas very well, so I don't think it's necessarily bad news there.

Should it be put in the penalty box? Look, I think Editas is the kind of stock that you need to have a long-term perspective with. It's going to be highly volatile over the short term. That volatility could be positive, it could be negative as we're seeing over the last few weeks, but over the long term, if you believe in the technology, the CRISPR technology that Editas has, the stock could be a big winner over the long term. This is not one to jump in and out of, you'll get burned. If you believe in the company's approach, then just hanging onto it for the long term. I wouldn't invest too great of your portfolio in a clinical-stage biotech like this, but I think it does have good opportunities over the long, say, next 10 years.

Orelli: That's really the timeframe you need to be looking, not one month. It's down 15% over the last month. Over the last three months, it's up 89.9%. [laughs]

Speights: Yeah, I was talking about the volatility. It goes both ways with the stock like Editas. It can be negative like we're seeing right now, but it can also be quite positive. But again, all of that's noise, really. I think the bigger thing is to look at that 10-year time horizon, and if it's successful, it's going to be really successful.

Orelli: Neither one of us work for the services that recommended Editas, but I doubt it's going to get put in the penalty box off of a one-month decline. I think you've got to be thinking long-term. If you bought at the top, definitely, I feel your pain, but just realize that you should be buying it for years in advance, so I don't think that you should be worried about the small decline right now.

Speights: For what it's worth, I did buy shares of Editas several years ago, two or three years ago. I rarely buy clinical stage biotechs, just very rarely. But I thought the technology was intriguing, took a very small position in it. I really don't pay attention to these up and down moves all that much. I'm just holding on and we'll see how their pipeline candidates fair over the next few years.

Brian Orelli, PhD has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights owns shares of Editas Medicine. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Editas Medicine. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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