Editing the human genome: WHO emphasizes safety, efficacy and ethics

The World Health Organization (WHO) released two new reports consolidating recommendations on editing the human genome “as a public health tool” with “emphasis on safety, efficacy and ethics” in testing and scientific research in this area Huh.

Two reports on genome editing, in other words the modification of the human genome facilitated by the emergence of tools such as molecular scissors, propose a global governance of these gene therapies and give recommendations in terms of safety and efficacy. But also equality of access. and bioethics, especially in relation to the modification of transmissible genetic traits.

“The new forward-looking report is the result of the first large-scale global consultation on editing of the human somatic, germline and hereditary genomes,” a WHO statement said. Hundreds of participants representing diverse perspectives from around the world, including scientists and researchers, patient groups, religious leaders and indigenous peoples.

“Human genome editing has the potential to advance our ability to treat and cure disease, but the full impact will only be achieved if we deploy it for the benefit of all, rather than in health matters within and between countries and countries.” Inequalities should be promoted.” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement.

Potential benefits of editing the human genome include faster and more accurate diagnosis, more targeted treatments, and prevention of genetic disorders, the United Nations agency noted, noting that somatic gene therapy, including those to treat or cure disease. Involves modifying DNA from a patient with HIV, sickle cell anemia and transthyretin amyloidosis have been used successfully. The technology could also significantly improve the treatment of various cancers.

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However, “some risks exist, for example with modification of the germ line and hereditary human genomes, which modify the genome of the human embryo and may be transmitted to the following generations while modifying the traits of descendants”, the same telling. source

The report provides recommendations on the governance and oversight of human genome editing in nine different areas: human genome editing registries; international research; illegal, unregistered, unethical or dangerous research; Intellectual Property; and education, engagement and empowerment. The recommendations focus on the system-level improvements needed to build capacity in all countries to ensure that human genome editing is used in a safe, efficient and ethical manner.

The report also provides a new governance framework that identifies specific tools, institutions and scenarios to describe practical challenges in the implementation, regulation and oversight of human genome research.

To try to better understand what is happening in laboratories in the region, a committee of experts mandated by the WHO suggests a number of avenues, including “a kind of whistleblower system” through which people have access to cases or plans. There will be a means of being alert when there is wind. To experiment with human stem cells,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization said during a press briefing.

She said that the WHO can then ask the relevant authorities to take action.

The United Nations Organization is also called upon to expand its International Register of Clinical Trials to everything related to editing the human genome and to create one to monitor pre-clinical research, so that even here, Be able to do more upstream work.

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In general, the Committee recommends that national and regional authorities facilitate surveillance by providing tests involving editing the human genome with specific keywords that make them more easily identified and clinically possible. It becomes possible to establish an evaluation mechanism allowing the detection of tests. pose a problem.

In a rather fundamental way, the committee also proposes governance role-playing games for research on genomes to help equip the authorities with the necessary tools and equipment to regulate the sector.

He thus proposes the scenario of a clinical trial of a therapy resulting from the manipulation of the genome against sickle cell anemia (a genetic disease characterized by an abnormality of hemoglobin), another for this technique on improving sports performance or Thanks for even one. A clinic located in a country with a low level of surveillance and providing services for genetically modified babies to its international clients.

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