The gene-therapy revolution risks stalling if we don’t talk about drug pricing
| 04. 25. 2023
“We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.),” wrote James Watson and Francis Crick in this journal in 1953 (J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick Nature 171, 737–738; 1953). “This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest.”
In the 70 years since those famous words were published, researchers have poured huge effort into unravelling those features and harnessing them for medicine. The result is a flourishing understanding of the genetic causes of diseases — and a host of therapies designed to treat them.
Seventy years from now, the world might look back on 2023 as a landmark, as well. This year could see the first authorization of a therapy based on CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing, that involves tweaking the DNA in the body’s non-reproductive (somatic) cells. Gene editing allows scientists — and could soon permit clinicians — to make changes to targeted regions in the genome, potentially ‘correcting’ genes that cause disease. Regulators in the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom are evaluating... see more
"Human Egg" by euthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In late April, the National Academies held a three-day workshop on In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as a Reproductive Technology
. Experts from a broad range of fields commented on the fast-developing science, its potential applications in assisted reproduction, and its social implications. Despite a focus on the significant technical challenges that remain in developing these techniques and the notable inclusion of several critical voices, the overall...
By CGS Staff
On May 4, the Center for Genetics and Society contributed invited remarks about heritable gene editing at a comment session hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD), the US federal agency that advises government and the private sector on disability policy. Some 17 speakers, including representatives of disability and patient advocacy organizations, scholars, medical researchers, and genetic counselors, weighed in for three minutes each on the topic “Germline editing, fetal medicine, and their impact on people with disabilities.”
Adapted from Mitochondrial DNA at
National Human Genome Research Institute
The Guardian reports that “a small number of babies” with DNA from three people have now been born in the UK. The exact number has not been disclosed; it is less than five but more than one. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the government agency that regulates the process, revealed that much in response to a freedom of information request, and noted in a rather terse statement that...
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post | 04.28.2023
DACULA, Ga. — For as long as he can remember, Jimi Olaghere felt he was destined to be a father. “It’s so true in my soul,” he told his wife, Amanda, when they struggled to get pregnant. But when they...