Gene edited in body in bid to cure pa­tient’s dis­ease

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION -

6 OAK­LAND, CALIF. >> Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene in­side the body in a bold attempt to per­ma­nently change a per­son’s DNA to try to cure a dis­ease. The ex­per­i­ment was done Mon­day in California on 44-year-old Brian Madeux. Through an IV, he re­ceived bil­lions of copies of a cor­rec­tive gene and a ge­netic tool to cut his DNA in a pre­cise spot.

“It’s kind of hum­bling” to be the first to test this, said Madeux, who has a meta­bolic dis­ease called Hunter syn­drome.

Signs of whether it’s work­ing could come in a month; tests will show for sure in three months.

If it’s suc­cess­ful, it could give a ma­jor boost to the fledg­ling field of gene ther­apy.

Scientists have edited peo­ple’s genes be­fore, al­ter­ing cells in the lab that are then re­turned to pa­tients. But these meth­ods can be used for only a few types of dis­eases. Some give re­sults that might not last.

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