Photo: Shengfang Jin, PhD, Vice President and Head of Discovery Biology, Editas Medicine
This morning, I attended an online presentation by two experts on gene editing and CRISPR. Shengfang Jin, VP of Editas Medicine, and Andrew Lin, who heads the Rare Disease Center at WuXi AppTec, presented a lot of great info, but what stuck out to me most was the trial Editas is doing to cure a rare eye disorder.
Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 generally causes people to be born blind or lose their sight by age 10. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. A new therapy from Editas targets this disease with a one-and-done treatment. This therapy is the first use of CRISPR in a human being, as opposed to a cell culture, and is currently in Phase 1/2 clinical trials.
Listening to Dr. Jin speak, I was put in mind of this passage from the Bible:
I increasingly suspect we are at the dawn of a golden age in medicine. The rapid pace of COVID vaccine development or this first in vivo use of CRISPR may be the first signs of things to come.
P.S. The presentation should be up on the website of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News here soon.