NIH to launch a novel gene editing research program in U.S.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), a globally recognized organization in healthcare and medical devices industry, has recently announced that it has taken a step forward to develop tools for effective and safe genome editing in humans.Touted as ‘Somatic Cell Genome Editing’, this program is set to award researchers with funds of over USD 190 million for six years beginning from 2018, cite sources. Reports further reveal that, these researchers are expected to collaborate with gene editing market players in a bid to improve the delivery mechanisms for gene editing tools in patients, develop assays for testing the efficacy and safety of the genome editing tools in human and animal cells, develop new improved genome editors, and assemble genome editing toolkit containing the resulting methods, knowledge, and tools that need to be shared with the scientific community.

Industry experts speculate that this new investment by the NIH comes at a time when the gene editing market in the region is at its nascent stages. As the name suggests, the program is specially launched to focus on somatic cells, which are basically non-reproductive cells that do not pass over DNA to the next generation. However, recent advances in gene editing industry now make it possible for the professionals to precisely alter DNA code inside living cells.

It has been brought to notice that despite such advancements and investments in this field, adoption of this technology in the clinics.

NIH’s funding in the backdrop of this scenario, is expected to bring some new growth prospects to the regional gene editing market, as the specific directions of the program are the results of a brainstorming workshop with academic researchers, industry experts, and patient advocates.