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Sickle Cell Patient Receives CRISPR Gene Therapy


Many human diseases can be traced back to genetic mutations. One way to cure those diseases is to repair the genetic error. But for many reasons, that is far easier said than done. Progress was made in that effort, however, when the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool was created and introduced to the biomedical research community in 2013.

By 2017, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and CRISPR Therapeutics AG announced that they were engineering a treatment for sickle-cell disease. On July 29, 2019, the therapy was used on a human patient.

The patient was willing to be publicly identified. She is Victoria Gray, a 34-year-old mother of four that has sickle cell disease. She has suffered from bouts of agonizing pain since she was an infant, and has been unable to enjoy many normal parts of life. She received the treatment at Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee.

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