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Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): March 31, 2020



(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)





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Baarerstrasse 14

6300 Zug, Switzerland


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Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions (see General Instructions A.2. below):


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The NASDAQ Global Market


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§ 230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§ 240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 


Item 8.01 Other Events

In light of the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, in the United States and globally, CRISPR Therapeutics AG (the “Company”) is supplementing the risk factors previously disclosed in Item 1A of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 12, 2020 to add the following new risk factor:


Our business may be adversely affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Our business could be adversely affected by health epidemics in regions where we have concentrations of clinical trial sites or other business activities and could cause significant disruption in the operations of third party manufacturers and CROs upon whom we rely.  For example, beginning in late 2019, the outbreak of a novel strain of virus named SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), or coronavirus, which causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, has evolved into a global pandemic. As of late March 2020, the coronavirus had spread to most regions of the world.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we may experience disruptions that could severely impact our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including:

We are conducting a number of clinical trials for product candidates in the fields of severe hemoglobinopathies and immuno-oncology in geographies which are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  We believe that the coronavirus pandemic has had, and will likely continue to have, an impact on various aspects of our clinical trials.  For example, with respect to our CTX001TM clinical trials for severe hemoglobinopathies (specifically, transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease), since ICU beds and related healthcare resources are anticipated to become significantly constrained in light of the coronavirus pandemic, no additional patients are currently scheduled to begin dosing in either study at this time.  And, for example, with respect to our immuno-oncology clinical trials, investigators may not want to take the risk of exposing cancer patients to COVID-19 since the dosing of patients is conducted within an in-patient setting. Other potential impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on our various clinical trials include patient dosing and study monitoring, which may be paused or delayed due to changes in policies at various clinical sites, federal, state, local or foreign laws, rules and regulations, including quarantines or other travel restrictions, prioritization of healthcare resources toward pandemic efforts, including diminished attention of physicians serving as our clinical trial investigators and reduced availability of site staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials, interruption or delays in the operations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or other reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic. If the coronavirus pandemic continues, other aspects of our clinical trials may be adversely affected, delayed or interrupted, including, for example, site initiation, patient recruitment and enrollment, availability of clinical trial materials, and data analysis. Some patients and clinical investigators may not be able to comply with clinical trial protocols and patients may choose to withdraw from our studies or we may have to pause enrollment or we may choose to or be required to pause enrollment and or patient dosing in our ongoing clinical trials in order to preserve health resources and protect trial participants. It is unknown how long these pauses or disruptions could continue.

We currently rely on third parties to, among other things, manufacture raw materials, manufacture our product candidates for our clinical trials, shipping of investigation drugs and clinical trial samples, perform quality testing and supply other goods and services to run our business. If any such third party in our supply chain for materials are adversely impacted by restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, including staffing shortages, production slowdowns and disruptions in delivery systems, our supply chain may be disrupted, limiting our ability to manufacture our product candidates for our clinical trials and  conduct our research and development operations.

We have closed our offices and requested that most of our personnel, including all of our administrative employees, work remotely, restricted on-site staff to only those personnel and contractors who must perform essential activities that must be completed on-site and limited the number of staff in any given research and development laboratory. Our increased reliance on personnel working from home may negatively impact productivity, or disrupt, delay, or otherwise adversely impact our business. In addition, this could increase our cyber security risk, create data accessibility concerns, and make us more susceptible to communication disruptions, any of which could adversely impact our business operations or delay necessary interactions with

local and federal regulators, ethics committees, manufacturing sites, research or clinical trial sites and other important agencies and contractors.

Our employees and contractors conducting research and development activities may not be able to access our laboratory for an extended period of time as a result of the closure of our offices and the possibility that governmental authorities further modify current restrictions. As a result, this could delay timely completion of preclinical activities, including completing Investigational New Drug (IND)/Clinical Trial Application (CTA)-enabling studies or our ability to select future development candidates, and initiation of additional clinical trials for other of our development programs.

Health regulatory agencies globally may experience disruptions in their operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and comparable foreign regulatory agencies may have slower response times or be under-resourced to continue to monitor our clinical trials and, as a result, review, inspection, and other timelines may be materially delayed. It is unknown how long these disruptions could continue, were they to occur. Any elongation or de-prioritization of our clinical trials or delay in regulatory review resulting from such disruptions could materially affect the development and study of our product candidates. For example, regulatory authorities may require that we not distribute a product candidate lot until the relevant agency authorizes its release. Such release authorization may be delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and could result in delays to our clinical trials.

The trading prices for our common shares and other biopharmaceutical companies have been highly volatile as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, we may face difficulties raising capital through sales of our common shares or such sales may be on unfavorable terms. In addition, a recession, depression or other sustained adverse market event resulting from the spread of the coronavirus could materially and adversely affect our business and the value of our common shares.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly evolve. The ultimate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our business operations is highly uncertain and subject to change and will depend on future developments, which cannot be accurately predicted, including the duration of the pandemic, the ultimate geographic spread of the disease, additional or modified government actions, new information that will emerge concerning the severity and impact of COVID-19 and the actions taken to contain coronavirus or address its impact in the short and long term, among others. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical trials, our research programs, healthcare systems or the global economy. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Please also refer to the complete Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 12, 2020 for additional risks and uncertainties facing the Company that may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

CRISPR Forward-Looking Statement
This Current Report on Form 8-K may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding the Company’s expectations about any or all of the following: potential impacts due to the coronavirus pandemic such as delays in regulatory review, manufacturing and supply chain interruptions, adverse effects on healthcare systems and disruption of the global economy, the timing of enrollment in its clinical trials; delays or disruptions in clinical trials, non-clinical experiments and investigational new drug application-enabling studies; the timing and progress of clinical trials, preclinical studies and other research and development activities; and the overall impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business, financial condition and results of operations.  Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  You are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Although the Company believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and they are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk.  Actual performance and results may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, and in any other subsequent filings made by the Company’s with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, which are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company disclaims any obligation or

undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, other than to the extent required by law.


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.


















Date: March 31, 2020






/s/ Samarth Kulkarni







Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D.







Chief Executive Officer