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Kendall Sq. visionaries

Her next project: curing a rare, inherited blindness disorder

President and CEO of Editas Medicine Katrine Bosley.
President and CEO of Editas Medicine Katrine Bosley. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

From an ‘old fart’ to millennials, this collection of doers, thinkers, and visionaries could help to shape the neighborhood, and the world, for years to come.

The gene-editing technology known as CRISPR has the potential to revolutionize medicine — and Katrine Bosley is working to turn the tool into a marketable therapeutic. If her track record is an indication, don’t bet against her.

Her company, Editas Medicine, spun out of research that was discovered at the Broad Institute, and it’s now one of three Kendall Square startups working to train CRISPR’s genetic scissors on fixing human disease. Bosley took the helm in 2014, helping Editas raise $120 million in venture cash the following year and then pull off a $94 million initial public offering this February.

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Bosley has spent more than 25 years in biotech in and around Kendall, starting her career when modern titans like Biogen, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Genzyme were still in their infancies.

Her last two companies, Avila Therapeutics and Adnexus Therapeutics, got bought out by larger drug makers in high-dollar deals. But this time, Bosley intends to keep Editas independent as it moves toward starting its first clinical trial next year for a rare, inherited blindness disorder.

She also plans to keep the company in Cambridge, where she works within blocks of the investors, entrepreneurs, and drug development veterans that keep Kendall ticking. “You’re going to run into these people all the time,” she says, “and it creates that density of interaction.”


Damian Garde can be reached at damian.garde@statnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @damiangarde. Follow Stat on Twitter: @statnews.