Is CRISPR gene editing on humans facing too many regulatory hurdles?

| | June 27, 2016
Credit: Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley
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A new wrinkle in cancer therapy has received intense interest from the media after a federal panel approved CRISPR-Cas9 for a study that would target three types of cancer.

Unfortunately, many moving parts have to be organized and the result is a loss of resources and time. Jumping through redundant, seemingly endless regulatory hoops is a significant part of the burden, courtesy of an alphabet soup of local and federal entities.

The media completely missed this overregulation angle and misfired on another — the supposedly unique “ethical” issues raised by this clinical trial. Consider this, for example: “This new type of treatment, as exciting as it may be, also comes with some ethical side effects. . . . For starters, we, as a species, are opening doors to something we haven’t done before, playing with human genes.”

However, the reality is that we have been “playing with human genes” to treat diseases in various ways for a very long time. This technology should not face higher scrutiny than other, similar products.

Read full, original post: Gene Therapy for Cancer: Overregulation Will Delay Its Benefit to Patients

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