Date: 19th March 2019
The speed at which gene editing tools are entering our clinics is fast becoming a reality. Whilst most therapeutic applications are approved for clinical trials by the FDA recent reports of CRISPR edited babies emerging from China has raised many concerns among the community.
Whilst gene editing holds an incredible promise for the future of our health, it also poses serious ethical questions. The World Health Organization’s new advisory committee on developing global standards for governance and oversight of human genome editing has agreed to work towards a strong international governance framework in this area. Work on establishing the registry has already started, and the committee has invited all those conducting human genome editing research to open discussions. With a wish to better understand the technical environment and current governance arrangements, they will help ensure work meets current scientific and ethical best practice.
How this will affect our future experiments and therapies is as yet unclear but providing a framework and guidance under which human genome editing is performed is hoped to ensure maximum benefit with minimal risk to human health. A 2 year consultation period will gather the views of multiple stakeholders including scientists, patient groups, civil society, ethicists and social scientists. Ethically speaking this is a critical time for gene editing and here at BioTechScope we will be keeping you up to date.
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