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Opinion

There is hope - CRISPR approval could rearrange the health market!

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

We all have friends or family members who are suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or are seeing first indications of these alarming diseases. There seems to be hope at the horizon!

The first treatment using the gene-editing tech CRISPR has already been approved in the US and UK for patients suffering from sickle cell disease. There are still a lot of kinks to work out concerning costs and patient safety in the broader market, but the health industry may be close to having treatments that can tackle notoriously challenging diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

* CRISPR, which WSJ describes as “a molecular pair of scissors that can be used to cut and modify a DNA sequence,” is almost ready for prescription.

The UK has already approved CRISPR-based treatments from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Crispr Therapeutics that tackle sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.

* The US FDA is set to approve a treatment for sickle cell disease created by Bluebird Bio sometime early next month.

* Both use a process called “ex vivo,” which involves collecting cells from the patient, shipping them to a manufacturing facility, genetically manipulating them in the lab with CRISPR, and shipping them back to the hospital. That process is a bit complicated.

* So, some firms like Intellia (co-founded by Jennifer Doudna who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry) are working on a therapy for ATTR disease that’s “in vivo” — meaning the therapy is delivered directly to the patient.

Those approvals could open the floodgates for a variety of new therapies, especially since CRISPR tech is apparently easy to use and administer. The best part is, by changing a patient’s genome, the disease should be cured in one cycle.

It’s a little early to call CRISPR therapies “miracle drugs,” but they’ll still likely create some new powerhouse pharmaceutical companies in the process. Even pharmaceutical giants are opening their wallets to acquire firms working in the space. No one wants to catch a case of being behind.

Please take note that I am not representing CRISPR; I am just excited about the potential of their drug research and want to share the ‘hope’ with you. I suggest to visit the website of CRISPR.

Let me add another amazing health development:

New Brain Injury Treatment

Electrical stimulation of a key information relay in the injured brains of five patients improved their cognition by up to 52%, according to a new study released yesterday. The small feasibility trial was designed to prove the safety of the implanted electrode device and is a step toward broader clinical studies.

Researchers surgically inserted an electrode near the almond-sized central lateral nucleus of the thalamus (see 3D model) in each patient, all of whom had suffered moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injuries between three and 18 years prior. Tests taken before the procedure and after a year of daily, 12-hour deep brain stimulation showed participants' cognitive abilities improved between 12% and 52%.

 Health officials estimate many people suffer from chronic issues as a result of TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries), suffered primarily via falls and accidents. Healthy brain functioning relies on an active neural network that integrates the brain's many regions, a process hampered in TBI patients.

Again, let me repeat that I am not representing health companies; I just feel that people, suffering of diseases that new research can address, should be aware of latest developments that can help them…

I look forward to your comments; email me at [email protected]

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HEALTH

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