Chinese researchers have used CRISPR gene-editing technology for treating a person infected with HIV.
Researchers edited stem cells with CRISPR to have a mutation that blocks HIV and transplant these gene-edited cells in to a volunteer. The gene-edited cells survived in the man’s body for more than 19 months, without causing detectable side effects…raising hopes of a more accessible cure.
Fyodor Urnov, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “This is an important step towards using gene editing to treat human disease,” “Because of this study, we now know that these edited cells can survive in a patient, and they will stay there.”
Researchers concluded after one and half year of transplanting gene-edited cells, the new transplant had not only blocked HIV, but it also hadn’t resulted in any side effects associated with the editing process.
Although this experiment did not cure the patient of AIDS, it does provide the proof regarding the safety of CRISPR-based therapies.