On November 5, 2015 an American biotechnology start-up, Editas Medicine announced the planned launch of a clinical test using the CrispR/Cas method in 2017, a world first. The CEO, Katrine Bosley, made this announcement during a conference held in Cambridge. The test should be carried out on the genes responsible for a rare congenital disease of the eye, Leber’s Amaurosis, which affects retinal cells.
Editas Medicine is one of the numerous start-ups planning to use the CrispR/Cas9 method, a molecular biology technique, simple and inexpensive which aims to modify the genome of the human embryo.
“The gene responsible for the disease, named CEP290, is very well-identified and the eye is easily accessible by genetic treatments”, explains Katrine Bopsley, this genome modification technique can be used in all types of cells, although it is not always simple to reach the cells to treat.
This modification technique of the genome is revolutionary and allows a glimpse of innumerable therapeutic potentials, as in this study. Recall however that it is not without raising important ethical questions, because it is possible to use human embryos or human germ cells, but this is a red line not to cross, as Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s general delegate recently recalled.]]>