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Government publishes report on ‘genome editing’
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.06.08 15:47
  • Updated 2017.06.08 15:47
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The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety published a report Thursday on “genome editing technology research" with the focus on the trends of research and development and current regulations, domestic and foreign.

The report is providing information on clinical and nonclinical studies carried out here and abroad for researchers who develop therapeutic agents using genome editing and help them develop new products.

Genome editing technology inserts new genes or removes the problematic genes by using molecular scissors to treat incurable diseases.

Genome editing is a technique to insert new genes or remove the problematic genes for incurable diseases that are difficult to treat by existing medical methods. It is divided into first-, second-, and third-generation according to the method of “recognizing and cutting specific parts of DNA sequence with molecular scissors.”

The report based itself on 84 non-clinical studies of therapeutic agents using genome editing as confirmed by PubMed, a domestic and foreign research engine, as of November last year.

By country, the United States accounted more than half of the total with 44 cases or 52 percent. China followed the U.S. with 17 cases (20 percent), and Korea ranked third with five cases (six percent). Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands and Spain followed the top three.

By disease, research based on infectious diseases were conducted most vigorously with 27 cases (32 percent), followed by blood diseases with 15 cases (18 percent) and genetic diseases with 14 cases (17 percent).

The report also based its analysis on the 17 clinical studies of therapies using genome editing conducted in the U.S. as of February this year.

In this category, too, America took up more than half of the total with nine cases (53 percent), chased by China with five cases (29 percent), and the Great Britain with three cases (18 percent).

By disease, seven cases (41 percent) were related to tumors, six cases (35 percent) of infectious diseases, and two cases (12 percent) of genetic diseases.

"This report is designed to provide researchers developing therapeutic agents by using genome editing,” a ministry official said. "We will continue to provide new research trend information to help researchers’ efforts."

connie@docdocdoc.co.kr

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