Are gene drive technologies anticipated to be a profitable business venture?

Category: Next Steps

Perhaps, depending on the type of gene drive strategy and the proposed target organism.

  • Self-sustaining gene drive technologies are being designed as long-term, durable, and low-cost solutions requiring few additional inputs following the release of organisms containing the technology. A product that is highly species specific, will not need to be reapplied, and is intended to provide long-lasting effectiveness would most likely be marketed as a public good.
  • Self-limiting gene drive products and non-replicating genetic biocontrol technologies are likely to require regular applications of the technology over space and time in order to maintain their intended effects. These types of products may have more attractive characteristics for business enterprises.
  • Public health products for use in developing countries are usually publicly funded and have very slim profit margins. Products for conservation purposes probably likewise will be publicly funded. Products for agricultural use might find a broader market, although this is not a given.
  • Potential exists for local small business opportunities, for example providing services associated with product delivery and monitoring.

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