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Genetic Linkage

Will parental vaccine hesitancy retard the embrace of life-saving newborn genetic screening and emerging gene therapy revolution?

In these days of the never-ending pandemic, other health problems continue to take a backseat. That's especially true for the 7,000 or so rare diseases that collectively affect only one in ten people, while the number of COVID fatalities in the US nears the million mark. 


Although some clinical trials for rare disease treatments have stalled, they'll resume once COVID settles into some version of endemicity. More than 60 cell and gene therapy FDA approvals are expected by 2030, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's New Drug Delivery Paradigms Initiative. They range from RNA-based drugs to gene therapies to CRISPR fixes.


Rare diseases tend to strike the youngest. Clinicaltrials.gov hints at what's to come.


CRISPR is tackling sickle cell disease and thalassemia, while antisense technology is being tried for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Searching for "gene therapy" brings up 5000 hits for this older approach, many targeting childhood diseases.


To continue reading, go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this post first appeared.

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