Article ID: 2020-007
In recent years, gene therapy drugs have finally been approved in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. In parallel with this, advances in genome editing technologies have enabled therapeutic strategies by gene knockout and gene repair, which were difficult with conventional so-called gene addition therapy. Worldwide, over 30 clinical trials of genome editing therapy have already been conducted, and some protocols have shown not only safety but also therapeutic efficacy. In the clinical application of genome editing, in addition to the technical hurdles of conventional gene therapy, there are problems specific to genome editing technology, such as the risk of introducing DNA mutations due to off-target activity of enzymes and the immune response to the artificial nucleases. It is necessary to consider the objective risk and benefit in comparison to existing therapeutic protocols. It is also essential to further develop technologies for therapeutic application in a wider range of diseases.