Tags: gene | therapy | vaccine | alternative

Gene Technique Provides Vaccine Alternative

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 04:50 PM

Vaccines have been hailed as among the great medical advances of the last 100 years, preventing many diseases and saving millions of lives, health experts say. But scientists are making progress on a new type of gene therapy that resists infections and may provide an alternative to vaccines.

Last month, scientists at Scripps Research Institute said they had developed an artificial antibody that, once in the blood, inactivated HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. They noted the treatment is not a vaccine, but delivers synthetic genes into the muscles to resist disease, The New York Times reports. 
 
Researchers are testing the new approach against Ebola, malaria, influenza, and hepatitis, as well as HIV.

Scientists hope the technique — and similar approaches being tested by other research institutions — may be able to provide long-term protection against diseases in ways that are comparable to vaccines.

The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or IGT — is underway, and several others are planned.

“It could revolutionize the way we immunize against public health threats in the future,” said Gary J. Nabel, M.D., the chief scientific officer of Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company that produces a wide range of vaccines.

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Scientists are making progress on a new type of gene therapy that resists infections and may provide an alternative to vaccines that prevents infectious diseases.
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2015-50-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 04:50 PM
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