Sangamo (SGMO): The Biotech Stock That May Have Found the Cure for AIDS

Biotech stock Sangamo BioSciences (Nasdaq: SGMO) is up 8% in the last three days. That’s what happens when a company thinks it may have found the cure for AIDS.

Sangamo BioSciences is a California-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of engineered DNA-binding proteins designed to develop novel therapeutic strategies for unmet medical needs. The company announced on Monday the beginning of two new clinical studies that aspire to develop a “functional cure” for HIV/AIDS.

Sangamo’s thereapeutic approach generates T-cells that are resistant to HIV infecion using what’s called a zinc finger nuclease technology that permanently disrupts a gene called CCR5, which is responsible for allowing HIV to enter a person’s blood cells. The new studies are intended to confirm and further investigate the findings of a previous Sangamo study in which an HIV-positive man named Timothy Brown was apparently cured of the disease by the new treatment.

The company expects to present its findings from the clinical trials at medical meetings later this year. 

Since the announcement, shares of Sangamo have jumped from $3.01 at the close of trading on Monday to $3.26 in afternoon trading today. Even after its recent gains, the stock is still trading near its 52-week low of $2.86. The 52-week high was $9.15.

Sangamo has been a publicly traded company since July 2000. The stock  has tumbled in recent years as the company has struggled to turn a profit. The company has averaged more than $20 million in net losses over the last three years.

That may change if Sangamo has indeed found an AIDS cure.

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