- A federal advisory panel next week will review a proposal for the first in human test of CRISPR/cas9 gene-editing technology, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania plan to edit two genes in T-cells using CRISPR in a study aimed at targeting myeloma, melanoma, and sarcoma tumor cells, reports MIT Technology Review.
- The study proposal will be reviewed by the Recombinant DNA Advisory committee (RAC) at its meeting to be held on June 21 and 22.
A number of higher profile biotechs such as Editas Medicines and Intellia Therapeutics have pushed forward with development of their own CRISPR therapies. Editas plans to start human trials as early as next year.
The proposal from the University of Pennsylvania researchers could start in human use of the potentially revolutionary gene-editing technology before then, if approved by the panel.
In a blog post published Thursday, Carrie Wolinetz, the associate director for Science Policy at NIH, highlighted the promise of CRISPR but noted concerns remain over the technology's potential human use. "While the application of new gene editing technologies in this field has great potential to improve human health, it is not without concerns," said Wolinetz.
The proposed study would use CRISPR to edit two genes in T-cells which had already been modified to express T-cell receptors targeting myeloma, melanoma, and sarcoma tumor cells.