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Gene editing: Hope in search for HIV, sickle cell cure


HIV, sickle cell: Could gene editing be answer?

Researchers to use technology on the DNA sequences to remove the infection.

Researchers are focusing on finding a cure for HIV and sickle cell disease in the next 10 years by the use of gene editing technology.

The researchers will identify the location of the pool of infected cells that still carry HIV genomes after treatment, and use gene editing technology on the DNA sequences to remove the infection.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will invest at least Sh10.3 billion in the research.

Although there has been advancement in effective gene-based treatments in the past 10 years, these are largely unreachable to most people around the world due to high cost especially in developing nations. “The ultimate goal is to scale and implement these treatments globally in areas hardest hit by these diseases,” said NIH in a statement.

Clinical trials will be done in the US and specific countries in Sub-Saharan Africa within 10 years.