On Thursday, Sept. 3, the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing released a framework for scientists, clinicians and regulatory authorities to consider when assessing potential clinical applications of human germline editing.
The commission was convened by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society in the United Kingdom.
Statement from Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at Oregon Health & Science University:
"Today’s report marks an important milestone over the use of new technologies that hold enormous promise for the prevention and treatment of genetic diseases. At OHSU, we welcome a robust public discussion.
"There are more than 10,000 single genetic mutations that cumulatively affect hundreds of millions of people around the world, in many cases with treatment options that are extremely expensive, limited or nonexistent. Repairing known mutations in early human embryos creates hope for millions of people suffering from inherited diseases who worry about passing it on to their children. That’s why our center has focused on developing genetic tools to prevent these genetic diseases.
"At the same time, we concur with the commission’s finding today that it’s premature to use gene-editing tools such as CRISPR to establish pregnancies.
"In fact, we believe responsible scientific research in early human embryos is necessary now more than ever. Gene editing and other technologies are advancing rapidly, and it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure the technology is effective and safe."