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ISCT Statement - Human Genome Editing

Friday, December 7, 2018  
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ISCT Statement - Human Genome Editing


Dear ISCT Members,

ISCT is a global society of clinicians, regulators, technologists, and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cellular and gene therapies into safe, ethical, and effective treatments to improve patients' lives.

In press reports and at a talk presented at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, Chinese researcher Dr. He Jiankui described his efforts using CRISPR-Cas9 to disable the CCR5 gene in human embryos that were subsequently implanted and brought to term. ISCT views this as a deeply disturbing human experiment that flouted international ethical norms. The research presented was technically flawed, conducted in secret, and hidden from the investigator’s institution and appropriate regulatory oversight. This unethical conduct only damages trust between the scientific and medical community, and the lay public.

ISCT endorses the statement issued by NIH Director Francis Collins on the claims of gene edited babies.In light of the early stages of our understanding of the consequences of gene editing, particularly in human germline cells that carry editing on to all future progeny, ISCT supports the development of an international consensus on setting limits for human germline editing.

Sincerely,

   
Miguel Forte, MD, PhD
Chair, ISCT Global Government and Public Relations Committee
Bruce Levine, PhD
Vice-Chair, ISCT Global Government and Public Relations Committee  

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