CRISPR co-creator Jennifer Doudna: Clinical human gene editing 5 to 10 years away

doudna lab
Jennifer Doudna, Howard Hughes Investigator and Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology. Image: Ryan Anson / AP Images

A pioneer of the Crispr gene-editing technology that’s taken Wall Street by storm says the field is probably five to 10 years away from having an approved therapy for patients.

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who runs the Doudna Lab at the University of California at Berkeley, says major questions remain about the safety and effectiveness of experimental therapies that aim to disrupt or repair defective genes. But she’s optimistic about their prospects.

“Can we today edit the DNA in human cells? Yes. Can we do it accurately? Yes. That’s absolutely being done in many labs around the world now,” Doudna said.

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Three public companies leading efforts in the space — Crispr Therapeutics AGEditas Medicine Inc. and Intellia Therapeutics Inc. — have seen their shares skyrocket over the past year before dosing even a single patient in a trial

Related article:  University of Pennsylvania's Ashley Winslow uses crowdsourcing to hunt down genetics of depression

China appears to be leading the Crispr race, having already edited genes in dozens of patients, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year. In the U.S., the University of Pennsylvania is recruiting sarcoma patients for one of the three arms planned for an early-stage study, according to a Penn Medicine spokesperson. Doudna, who has been a leading supporter in raising awareness and debating the ethics of Crispr, is helping organize the second international conference on gene editing in Hong Kong this fall.

Read full, original post: The Future of Medicine May Land Within Five to 10 Years, Crispr Inventor Says

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