Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘CRISPR applied to Human Germ Line’ Category


Human gene editing continues to hold a major fascination within a biomedical and biopharmaceutical industries. It’s extraordinary potential is now being realized but important questions as to who will be the beneficiaries of such breakthrough technologies remained to be answered. The session will discuss whether gene editing technologies can alleviate some of the most challenging unmet medical needs. We will discuss how research advances often never reach minority communities and how diverse patient populations will gain access to such breakthrough technologies. It is widely recognize that there are patient voids in the population and we will explore how community health centers might fill this void to ensure that state-of-the-art technologies can reach the forgotten patient groups . We also will touch ethical questions surrounding germline editing and how such research and development could impact the community at large.

Please follow LIVE on TWITTER using the following @ handles and # hashtags:

@Handles

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

@BIOConvention

# Hashtags

#BIO2019 (official meeting hashtag)

Read Full Post »


Real Time Coverage @BIOConvention #BIO2019: Genome Editing and Regulatory Harmonization: Progress and Challenges

Reporter: Stephen J Williams, PhD @StephenJWillia2

 

Genome editing offers the potential of new and effective treatments for genetic diseases. As companies work to develop these treatments, regulators are focused on ensuring that any such products meet applicable safety and efficacy requirements. This panel will discuss how European Union and United States regulators are approaching therapeutic use of genome editing, issues in harmonization between these two – and other – jurisdictions, challenges faced by industry as regulatory positions evolve, and steps that organizations and companies can take to facilitate approval and continued efforts at harmonization.

 

CBER:  because of the nature of these gene therapies, which are mainly orphan, there is expedited review.  Since they started this division in 2015, they have received over 1500 applications.

Spark: Most of the issues were issues with the primary disease not the gene therapy so they had to make new endpoint tests so had talks with FDA before they entered phase III.   There has been great collaboration with FDA,  now they partnered with Novartis to get approval outside US.  You should be willing to partner with EU pharmas to expedite the regulatory process outside US.  In China the process is new and Brazil is behind on their gene therapy guidance.  However there is the new issue of repeat testing of your manufacturing process, as manufacturing of gene therapies had been small scale before. However he notes that problems with expedited review is tough because you don’t have alot of time to get data together.  They were lucky that they had already done a randomized trial.

Sidley Austin:  EU regulatory you make application with advance therapy you don’t have a national option, the regulation body assesses a committee to see if has applicability. Then it goes to a safety committee.  EU has been quicker to approve these advance therapies. Twenty five percent of their applications are gene therapies.  Companies having issues with manufacturing.  There can be issues when the final application is formalized after discussions as problems may arise between discussions, preliminary applications, and final applications.

Sarepta: They have a robust gene therapy program.  Their lead is a therapy for DMD (Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy) where affected males die by 25. Japan and EU have different regulatory applications and although they are similar and data can be transferred there is more paperwork required by EU.  The US uses an IND for application. Global feedback is very challenging, they have had multiple meetings around the world and takes a long time preparing a briefing package….. putting a strain on the small biotechs.  No company wants to be either just EU centric or US centric they just want to get out to market as fast as possible.

 

Please follow LIVE on TWITTER using the following @ handles and # hashtags:

@Handles

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

@BIOConvention

# Hashtags

#BIO2019 (official meeting hashtag)

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


People with two copies of the Δ32 mutation died at rates 21 percent higher than those with one or no copies – application of CRISPR @Berkeley

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

CCR5-∆32 is deleterious in the homozygous state in humans

CRISPR baby mutation significantly increases mortality

“Here is a functional protein that we know has an effect in the organism, and it is well-conserved among many different species, so it is likely that a mutation that destroys the protein is, on average, not good for you,” he said. “Otherwise, evolutionary mechanisms would have destroyed that protein a long time ago.”

SOURCE

https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/06/03/crispr-baby-mutation-significantly-increases-mortality/

In the UK Biobank data they found two lines of evidence to suggest that these days, CCR5 actually is a net negative. In the first analysis they tracked how long people survived after enrolling in the Biobank study. They found that between the ages of 41 and 78, people with two copies of the Δ32 mutation had significantly higher death rates. They also observed that far fewer people with two copies enrolled in the study than expected, which they interpreted to mean that these individuals were less likely to survive into middle age than the general population. “Something has removed people with two copies of the mutation, and the likely explanation is increased mortality,” says Nielsen.

A child was born missing a large chunk of DNA in its CCR5 gene. This gene coded for a receptor on the surface of immune cells useful for coordinating responses to invading pathogens. And this spontaneous deletion torpedoed CCR5 production—one copy shrunk the number of receptors on cells, two copies erased the receptor altogether.

Today, the Δ32 mutation occurs in about 10 percent of the population of Europe, in a decreasing gradient from north to south. Natural selection pushed it through the population about 100 times faster than if it were a neutral change to the genome. But with the invention of vaccines, and the eradication of diseases like smallpox over the last century, the mutation has become less useful. According to Nielsen and Wei’s analysis, it’s now downright detrimental.

SOURCE

https://www.wired.com/story/a-study-exposes-the-health-risks-of-gene-editing-human-embryos/?mbid=social_linkedin&utm_brand=wired&utm_campaign=wired&utm_medium=social&utm_social-type=owned&utm_source=linkedin

 

Read Full Post »


Opportunities and Ethics of Editing Genomes: A CRISPR-Inspired Conversation, Prof. Jennifer Doudna’s Lecture at Stanford University, JANUARY 24, 2019 – 7:00PM TO 8:30PM, CEMEX AUDITORIUM, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Opportunities and Ethics of Editing Genomes: A CRISPR-Inspired Conversation

JANUARY 24, 2019 – 7:00PM TO 8:30PM
EVENT SERIES:
EVENT SPONSOR:
CENTER FOR BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, MCCOY FAMILY CENTER FOR ETHICS IN SOCIETY, CENTER FOR LAW AND BIOSCIENCES

Recent reports of the first babies to be born with CRISPR-edited genes have sparked widespread condemnation and calls for action. These concerns will be top of mind when world-renowned scientist Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR, speaks at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 24, as part of the Arrow Lecture Series on Ethics and Leadership.

Doudna, a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at U.C. Berkeley, rocked the research world in 2012 when she and her colleagues announced the invention of CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that uses an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria to edit an organism’s DNA quickly and inexpensively.

Following her lecture, Doudna will have an on-stage conversation with Political Science Professor Rob Reich, faculty director of the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and Kelly Ormond, a professor of genetics at Stanford’s School of Medicine and faculty member of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Doudna is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing. Doudna has received many other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Arrow Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Ethics in Society, honors the late Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus.

This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

LOCATION:
CEMEX AUDITORIUM, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
ADMISSION:
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
CONTACT EMAIL:
MVPENA@STANFORD.EDU

SOURCE

https://ethicsinsociety.stanford.edu/events/opportunities-and-ethics-editing-genomes-crispr-inspired-conversation

 

What is Ethics in Society?

The McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society is committed to bringing ethical reflection to bear on important social problems through research, teaching, and community engagement. Drawing on the established strengths of Stanford’s interdisciplinary faculty, the Center develops initiatives with ethical dimensions that relate to pressing public problems. A bridge to the undergraduate Stanford community, the Center houses the Undergraduate Program in Ethics in Society in addition to these current initiatives:

  • Public events, including the Tanner, Wesson, and Arrow lectures, and multi-year themed lecture series
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to promote teaching and research in ethics in society
  • An Undergraduate Program that supports an honors thesis option and the opportunity to minor in Ethics in Society for students in every major
  • Conferences, seminars, and workshops in partnership with other departments across campus
  • Curriculum development around the undergraduate Ethical Reasoning breadth requirement
  • The Hope House Scholars Program in which Stanford faculty, postdocs, or graduate students teach a course in the humanities to the residents of Hope House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for women, many of whom have recently been incarcerated.
  • The Buzz blog which features the voices of Stanford students and freelance writers on happenings at the McCoy Center

https://ethicsinsociety.stanford.edu/about/what-ethics-society

Read Full Post »


Gene-editing Second International Summit in Hong Kong: George Church, “Let’s be quantitative before we start being accusatory”

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

UPDATED on 11/30/2018

Gene editing takes a foreboding leap forward

He Jiankui. Photo: Zhang Wei/Chinese News Service/VCG via Getty Images

 

China is temporarily suspending the work of scientists who claimed twins were born after being genetically edited as embryos.

Why it matters: The scientific consensus is that gene editing embryos at this stage of science is “irresponsible.” But, while this particular experiment has not been verified, the fact is the technology is available to researchers, so there’s a growing call for international limitations on its use.

ICYMI: Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced earlier this week that twins were born after he used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to cut the CCR5 gene that’s known to play a role in HIV infection.

  • He stirred even more dismay when he mentioned the possibility of a second pregnancy.
  • China currently bans human implantation of gene-edited embryos. Its Ministry of Science and Technology is investigating the claims, per Xinhua.

There are concerns about the safety, efficacy and possible mosaicism, where a person can contain genes in both its edited and unedited forms, from cutting genes.

  • Editing embryos raises an even bigger concern: The genetic changes and all the unknowns around them can be passed down to future generations.

Between the lines: Not everyone viewed it as a complete disaster. For instance, Harvard Medical School’s George Daley suggested that it may be time to reconsider the massive amounts of research done over the past several years and look for plausible methods of moving forward.

What to watch: Scientists are cautious about predicting what the impact will be, in part because the details of this claim are thin. However, the debate is heating up and one concern is it will dampen important research.

  • Medical ethicist Jonathan Moreno from the University of Pennsylvania says the situation reminds him of other times in history where there were tremors in the science world, like the death of 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger in 1999 from a gene therapy trial that led to years of diminished research.

The bottom line: The alarm over what could be next is real. But scientists hope the current debate will promote consensus on firm limits and promote transparency.

Go deeper:

SOURCE

From: Andrew Freedman <andrew.freedman@axios.com>

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 5:33 PM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Axios Science: About that climate report — Gene editing takes a foreboding step — Building in harms’ way

 

 

He Jiankui spoke at the second international summit on human genome editing in Hong Kong. (Alex Hofford/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

CRISPR-baby scientist faces the music

The scientist who claims to have helped produce the first people born with edited genomes faced a tough crowd yesterday at a gene-editing summit in Hong Kong. He Jiankui gave a 20-minute talk about his unpublished work in animals and humans before opening a 40-minute Q&A session (watch it here). He faced difficult questions about the ethics of his work and his choice to keep it mostly under wraps until after the babies were born, and left many unanswered.

Meanwhile, prominent geneticist George Church is one of the few scientists who seem to be looking on the bright side of He’s controversial claim. “Let’s be quantitative before we start being accusatory,” Church told Science. “As long as these are normal, healthy kids it’s going to be fine for the field and the family.”

Nature | 9 min read & Science | 6 min read

Read more: Genome-edited baby claim provokes international outcry

 

SOURCE

From: Nature Briefing <briefing@nature.com>

Reply-To: Nature Briefing <briefing@nature.com>

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 12:18 PM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: CRISPR-baby scientist faces the music at gene-editing summit

 

See

SAVE

The ethical red flags of genetically edited babies

Driving the news: Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced Sunday night that a pair of twin girls had been born from embryos he modified using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR.

  • He hasn’t provided solid proof, but if it‘s true, it would be the first time the technology has been used to engineer a human.

What they’re saying: The inventors of CRISPR technology did not seem pleased with the development — one called for a moratorium on implantation edited embryos into potential mothers.

  • “I hope we will be more cautious in the next thing we try to do, and think more carefully about when you should use technology versus when you could use technology,” said Jessica Berg, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University.

Between the lines: Several specific factors in He’s work sent up ethical red flags.

  • Many scientists had assumed that, when this technology was first used in humans, it would edit out mutations tied to a single gene that were certain to cause a child pain and suffering once it was born — essentially, as a last resort.
  • But He used CRISPR to, as he put it, “close a door” that HIV could have one day traveled through. That has prompted some speculation that this project was more about testing the technology than serving an acute medical need.
  • “That should make us very uneasy about the whole situation,” Berg said. “Of all the things to have started with, it does make you a little suspicious about this particular choice.”

The intrigue: There’s a lot we still don’t know about He’s work, and that’s also contributing to an attitude of skepticism.

  • How many embryos did he edit and implant before these live births?
  • How will he know it worked? As the children age, they’ll likely have their blood drawn and those samples will be exposed to HIV in a lab, but researchers aren’t going to tell them to go out and have unprotected sex or use intravenous drugs — another reason HIV seems like an odd starting place for human gene editing.
  • How did this even happen? The university where He worked said he was on leave, and Chinese officials have said he’s under investigation. But gene editing is a pretty hard thing to freelance.

The other side: He defended his work in a video message, saying, “I understand my work will be controversial but I believe families need this technology and I’m willing to take the criticism for them.”

  • “Their parents don’t want a designer baby, just a child who won’t suffer from a disease which medicine can now prevent,” He said.

Yes, but: Now that this threshold may have been crossed, attempts to create “designer babies” — within the limitations of what CRISPR can do — probably aren’t far off, some experts fear.

  • There are “likely to be places that are less regulated than others, where people are going to attempt to see what they can do,” Berg said. “I wouldn’t say everything in the world has changed now, but it’s certainly the next step.”
SOURCE

https://www.axios.com/genetic-editing-baby-china-ethics-controversy-b33f8414-8b83-445c-bad5-d8407f8841f4.html

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2018/11/26/jennifer-doudna-and-npr-science-correspondent-joe-palca-several-interviews/

Read Full Post »


Jennifer Doudna and NPR science correspondent Joe Palca, several interviews

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

UPDATED on 11/27/2018

SAVE

The ethical red flags of genetically edited babies

Driving the news: Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced Sunday night that a pair of twin girls had been born from embryos he modified using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR.

  • He hasn’t provided solid proof, but if it‘s true, it would be the first time the technology has been used to engineer a human.

What they’re saying: The inventors of CRISPR technology did not seem pleased with the development — one called for a moratorium on implantation edited embryos into potential mothers.

  • “I hope we will be more cautious in the next thing we try to do, and think more carefully about when you should use technology versus when you could use technology,” said Jessica Berg, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University.

Between the lines: Several specific factors in He’s work sent up ethical red flags.

  • Many scientists had assumed that, when this technology was first used in humans, it would edit out mutations tied to a single gene that were certain to cause a child pain and suffering once it was born — essentially, as a last resort.
  • But He used CRISPR to, as he put it, “close a door” that HIV could have one day traveled through. That has prompted some speculation that this project was more about testing the technology than serving an acute medical need.
  • “That should make us very uneasy about the whole situation,” Berg said. “Of all the things to have started with, it does make you a little suspicious about this particular choice.”

The intrigue: There’s a lot we still don’t know about He’s work, and that’s also contributing to an attitude of skepticism.

  • How many embryos did he edit and implant before these live births?
  • How will he know it worked? As the children age, they’ll likely have their blood drawn and those samples will be exposed to HIV in a lab, but researchers aren’t going to tell them to go out and have unprotected sex or use intravenous drugs — another reason HIV seems like an odd starting place for human gene editing.
  • How did this even happen? The university where He worked said he was on leave, and Chinese officials have said he’s under investigation. But gene editing is a pretty hard thing to freelance.

The other side: He defended his work in a video message, saying, “I understand my work will be controversial but I believe families need this technology and I’m willing to take the criticism for them.”

  • “Their parents don’t want a designer baby, just a child who won’t suffer from a disease which medicine can now prevent,” He said.

Yes, but: Now that this threshold may have been crossed, attempts to create “designer babies” — within the limitations of what CRISPR can do — probably aren’t far off, some experts fear.

  • There are “likely to be places that are less regulated than others, where people are going to attempt to see what they can do,” Berg said. “I wouldn’t say everything in the world has changed now, but it’s certainly the next step.”
SOURCE

https://www.axios.com/genetic-editing-baby-china-ethics-controversy-b33f8414-8b83-445c-bad5-d8407f8841f4.html

 

 

UPDATED on 11/26/2018

  1. CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna explains gene-editing …

    news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/05/crispr…

    Doudna, who spoke at Harvard’s Science Center, explained the work that led to the development of CRISPR/Cas9 geneediting technology, which was described in a paper in the journal Science in 2012. A sign of how quickly the techniques would be adopted by her scientific colleagues came within months.

  2. Eventbrite – Science History Institute presents Jennifer A. Doudna, “CRISPR Biology and Biotechnology: the Future of Genome Editing” – Friday, November 16, 2018 at Science History Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

  3. A pioneer of the Crispr geneediting 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.

  4. A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power …

    thehumanist.com/magazine/november-december-2017/…

    BOOK BY JENNIFER DOUDNA AND SAMUEL STERNBERG HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT, 2017 304 PP.; $28.00 (HARDCOVER) $14.99 (KINDLE) CRISPR is the basis of a genome editingtechnology—the latest breakthrough in the grand tradition that began over 400 generations ago when we started to grow wheat and rice instead of just picking its wild cousins.

  5. The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology was discovered in 2012 by campus professor of chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, director at the Max …

  6. 2 hours ago · The International Summit on Human Genome Editing begins here on Tuesday and many researchers, ethicists, and policymakers attending the meeting first learned of He’s claim through media reports.

 

 

Video of Conversation With Jennifer Doudna and NPR’s Joe Palca

WATCH VIDEO

https://today.lbl.gov/2018/01/26/video-of-conversation-with-jennifer-doudna-and-nprs-joe-palca/

Published on Jan 24, 2018

SUBSCRIBE 13K
This conversation between Berkeley Lab researcher Jennifer Doudna and NPR science correspondent Joe Palca took place on on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. The event was the first in the Director’s Distinguished Women in Science speaker series, a venue for women scientists to share their work and perspectives with the Lab community. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/berkeleylab/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/berkeleylab Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BerkeleyLab/ More Berkeley Lab news: http://bit.ly/BerkeleyLabNews Subscribe: https://youtube.com/berkeleylab
SOURCE

Jennifer Doudna Talks CRISPR Origins, Implications with NPR’s Joe Palca

SOURCE

http://biosciences.lbl.gov/2017/12/01/jennifer-doudna-talks-crispr-origins-implications-nprs-joe-palca/

 

Jennifer Doudna featured on NPR’s Morning Edition for her work on CRISPR/Cas9 — a tool for editing genes

October 13, 2014
Jennifer Doudna. Jennifer Doudna. Photo: Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs

UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition for her work on CRISPR/Cas9 — a tool for editing genes. Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues showed that CRISPR/Cas9, can be used with great precision to selectively disable or add several genes at once in human cells, offering a potent new tool to understand and treat complex genetic diseases.

Read more and listen to the full story, “In Hopes Of Fixing Faulty Genes, One Scientist Starts With the Basics.”

SOURCE

https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/news/jennifer-doudna-featured-nprs-morning-edition-her-work-crisprcas9-tool-editing-genes

 

Read Full Post »