Contreras is afraid of what would happen if CRISPR remains where it is. For example, the private company Juno therapeutics has entered into surrogate licensing agreements with MIT and the Broad Institute to do research using CRISPR and the immunotherapy cancer treatment called CAR T-cell treatment. The treatment, which is still in clinical trials, is thought by many to revolutionize the way cancer is treated, and perhaps CRISPR could significantly help that. But Contreras’ concern is what happens if Juno folds, or is subject to lawsuits? The rights that it (or any other company) has could be tied up in courts for decades, delaying vital research. If Juno went bankrupt, no one else could use CRISPR and CAR T together to develop effective therapies. “This strikes me as a real shame and a loss to society,” says Contreras. Further, if other companies did apply to that company to use their licensed CRISPR therapy, that company can decide not to give it to them, especially if they are a competitor or if they think they will do the research that that company wants to do now in the future.