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Gene therapy for beta-thalassemia safe, effective in people

Posted on: 19 April 2018, source: EurekAlert
In a powerful example of bench-to-bedside science showing how observations made in the lab can spark life-altering therapies in clinic, an international team of clinician-investigators has announced that gene therapy for patients with a severe form of the blood disorder beta-thalassemia can be safe and effective. Led by study director Philippe Leboulch, MD, a sponsored collaborator in Brigham and Women's Hospital's Division of Genetics and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, the research team reports that a one-time treatment with the gene therapy known as LentiGlobin BB305 vector reduced or eliminated the need for blood transfusions in 22 patients with severe beta-thalassemia. The team's results are published in the April 19 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.