The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has previously allocated about $190 million to support research by the SCGE consortium. According to an article published recently in the online edition of the British journal Nature, the NIH and SCGE Federation recently launched the human somatic genome editing project. While developing new technologies and determining the functions and consequences of genome editing in human cells, it adheres to rigorous and innovative methods to verify various technologies, so as to accelerate the clinical development of new therapies for various diseases in the scientific community.
Genetic factors are the “culprits” of most human diseases, including genetic diseases, infectious diseases and many malignant diseases. This is also the fundamental reason why biomedical circles have been hoping to modify patients’ genomes to correct mutations and make invading pathogens’ genomes ineffective.
At present, gene therapy is becoming more and more successful, but scientists believe that new editing, delivery and biological systems are needed in the field of somatic gene editing to better measure the safety and effectiveness of various strategies. The SCGE Federation was founded under this consensus. The SCGE consortium, which was funded by NIH, currently includes 72 key researchers from 38 institutions and conducts 45 different projects. The goal of the Federation is to accelerate the development of safe and effective technical means to edit disease-related somatic genomes in patients, some of which are relatively inaccessible.
This time, a joint research team from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Massachusetts in the United States published an opinion article, introduced and discussed the relevant plans, including: developing new technologies to induce and evaluate genome editing, and determining the downstream functional consequences of genome editing in human cells; at the same time, adhering to a rigorous and innovative method, through the second research on small animals and large animals Then, the assembled SCGE “toolkit” and the knowledge generated by practicing are visualized to accelerate the clinical development of new therapies for various diseases.
The project will focus on two aspects: one is from DNA in the nucleus to nucleic acids in other parts of the cell; the other is epigenetic editing, which does not change the sequence of DNA or RNA to produce targeted changes in chromatin structure.
The plan will also establish a common indicator or standard, and then compare with a variety of technologies. Another important value is that the research results will be shared with the world, and a series of SCGE “tool kits” of reagents, methods and practices will be “assembled”, so as to help scientists around the world reduce the time and cost of developing new therapies. Eventually, the treatment will be extended to the most challenging somatic tissue environment.