Gene therapy is an experimental therapy that uses genetic modification to treat or avert the risk of diseases. This therapy introduces genetic material in the cells to replace the abnormal genes causing diseases. The intention of this injection can also be to have the body’s immune system create a protein to fight the disease. Currently, gene therapy is an experimental alternative in treating patients, as it has to be validated by medical associations and pharmaceutical companies. This technique still remains under close scrutiny to ensure that it will be a safe and effective method in the realm of disease treatment in the coming years.
The discovery of gene therapy can be traced back to the mid-1970s, when researchers isolated specific genes from DNA for the first time ever. With growing investments and increasing research and development activities, the global gene therapy market has found adequate encouragement in the past few years.
Investments in Gene Therapy to Help Research and Further Data Gathering
As the concept of gene therapy continues to be under microscopic study, there is a growing interest amongst venture capitalists to invest in the commercial aspect of this therapy. The only factor preventing its growth is the huge barrier of regulatory frameworks and approval processes. The majority of gene therapy products or lines of medicine are in phase II or phase III of clinical trial. A large number of these therapies focus on treating various types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. However, the increasing popularity of DNA vaccines has brought in a positive wave towards gene therapy, making the possibility of practicing it a real one in the near future. Changing perception towards gene therapy will motivate the conductors of phase II and III trials that are already underway, bringing in a new dimension towards treating chronic diseases.
Pros and Cons of Gene Therapy
The global gene therapy market has a score of ethical and legal issues looming over its head. The pros of the method suggest that gene therapy will eliminate genetic diseases, changing the landscape of chronic diseases prevalent in the world today. Furthermore, the research and time invested in studying the intricacies of this therapy will result in creating a databank that will serve as a solution for diseases that are not studied yet. Evidently, gene therapy is a remedy for the future that can create a safety net for coming generations that are at risk from hereditary diseases.
The biggest drawback in the case of gene therapy is its experimental nature, which puts human life at risk in case of its usage. Furthermore, the tremendous cost involved in developing gene therapies is also proving to a tough market restraint. This especially plays a crucial role for patients who need long-term care. The risk involved in the procedure, socioeconomic factors, and poor insurance cover are a few more reasons that are holding this market back.
Some of the important players in the global gene therapy market are BioSante Pharmaceuticals, AnGes MG, Urigen Pharmaceuticals, Transgene, GenVec, Vical, Genzyme Corporation, and Oxford BioMedica.
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