Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Will Gene-edited Stem Cells Hold the Key to Fighting HIV/AIDS?

In a research conducted at Harvard University, a new gene-editing technique was used to create what could prove to be an effective method for blocking HIV from invading and destroying patients' immune systems. The work was led by Chad Cowan and Derrick Rossi, Associate Professors in Harvard's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB). 
This is the first published report of the Harvard researchers using CRISPR/Cas technology to efficiently and precisely edit clinically relevant genes out of cells collected directly from people, in this case human blood-forming stem cells and T-cells, researchers said. 

In theory, such gene-edited stem cells could be introduced into HIV patients via bone marrow transplantation—the procedure used to transplant blood stem cells into leukemia patients, to give rise to HIV-resistant immune systems. 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is one of the most catastrophic threats to human health in the world. Improved treatment options and methods of diagnosis have helped to moderate the growth of the epidemic, presenting opportunities for companies prepared to engage actively in this field. However, the management of HIV/AIDS is still, in many respects, a very significant threat, and there is an ongoing, urgent need for promising new research as well as optimal exploitation of the treatment and diagnostic options already developed.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), there were 35 million people across the globe living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 2012. In 2012, 1.6 million people died of HIV/AIDS, including 1.2 million AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a BCC Research report, in 2012 the HIV therapeutics market was worth $17.5 billion. The global market is expected to peak at $20.9 billion in 2016 and will shrink back to $19.6 billion in 2018, representing an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5%. The patent expiration of leading antiretroviral drugs and the subsequent introduction of generic drugs will create cost pressures that will drive overall revenues down, resulting in suppressed market revenue growth.
Though this new approach to HIV therapy might be ready for human safety trials in less than five years, the researchers are still cautious about celebrating victory. Even if this new approach works perfectly, further developments need to be carried out before they are introduced in the global market.
For more information on a BCC Research market report about HIV therapeutics and diagnostics, visit the following link:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Bookmark and Share