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Newsletter January 2015

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News: Controlled Gene Therapy May be Possible with New Method
Gene therapy works by introducing genetic material (either DNA or RNA) into cells with a viral vector. This may be to replace a defective gene, but can also be to increase levels of a beneficial molecule that can compensate for the disease state. Most people have negative reactions when they think about viruses, but viral vectors are useful for injecting genetic material into cells. In research, and ultimately in the clinic, cells can then be controlled to churn out desired molecules for treating diseases. The use of viral vectors has held promise for gene therapy for many years, with the first gene therapy approved in the European Union in 2012. Despite gene therapy’s promise, researchers are still trying to overcome the limitations associated with this technology. Controlling where and how much of the gene is delivered to cells remains a formidable challenge. A new study, published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research in December 2014, may hold promise for enabling controlled gene therapy.

News: Gene Therapy 3.0: Rise and fall and rise again of gene therapy–For real this time?
Gene therapy is back in the news, and in a big way as regular readers of the GLP would know. Studies involving the use of gene therapy are showing promising results for the cure of blood disorders, ‘bubble boy’ disease and HIV among others. Industry interest has also picked up and as positive results from clinical trials roll in, the market suddenly appears bullish on the future. But are we seeing enough to suggest that the technology is promising enough to make a major contribution to public health? Why does gene therapy have to be ‘back’ in the first place?
We offer a quick recap here, but for a more detailed read on the rise and fall (and rise again) of gene therapy, read this excellent narrative by Carl Zimmer in Wired or this comprehensive feature by Laura Cassiday in Nature. Things looked bright for gene therapy in the 90s when it promised to be a revolution that would let us move from just treating genetic diseases to curing them permanently. The big question surrounding gene therapy had always been how to effectively deliver the correct form of the gene into cells.


- 26 - 28 January 2015, Phacilitate 11th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2015, Washington DC, MD
- 26 -28 February 2015, 211th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT e.V.), Vienna, Austria
- 19 - 20 March 2015, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (SFTCG) Annual Congress, Paris, France
- 30 March - 3 April 2015, EMBO workshop: Modern DNA concepts and tools for safe gene transfer and modification, Evry, France
- 29 April – 1 May 2015, 9th Australasian Gene Therapy Society Meeting (AGTS), Melbourne, Australia
- 13 - 16 May 2015, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 18th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
- 27 - 30 May 2015, International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 21th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV
- 9 - 11 June 2015, Annual conference of the British Society for Gene Therapy (BSGT), Glasgow, UK
- 21 - 26 June 2015, Gordon Research Conference: Virusses & Cells, Girona, Spain
- 24 – 26 July 2015, The 21th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Osaka, Japan
- 10 – 12 August 2015, 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy, London, UK
- 17 – 20 September 2015, XXIII Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and the Finnish Society of Gene Therapy, Helsinki, Finland
- 4 – 6 November 2015, 8th Congress of the Spanish Society of Gene (SETGyC) and Cell Therapy, San Sebastian, Spain
- March 2016, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (SFTCG) Annual Congress, Marseille, France
- 4 - 7 May 2016, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 19th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
- 28 – 30 July 2016, The 22th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Venue to be determined, Japan
- 18 – 21 October 2016, XXIV Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Florence, Italy


Gene Therapy Net is the information resource for basic and clinical research in gene therapy, and the site serves as a network in the exchange of gene therapy information and breaking news items. Visitors can keep track of the latest scientific papers, conference announcements, gene therapy jobs, regulations and guidelines. Other information websites created and maintained by the owner of Gene Therapy Net are Dengue Virus Net, Influenza Virus Net, Ebola Virus Net and Chikungunya Virus Net.
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