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Hastings Center News

After the First CRISPR Drug, What’s Next?

The first therapy using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology—a drug for sickle-cell disease-—was approved a couple of months ago and hailed as a milestone. What might be the next CRISPR drugs? Promising prospects include antimicrobials to address the worldwide antibiotic-resistance crisis, which claims 1.27 million lives each year. An article in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences by Hastings Center research associate Danielle Pacia and coauthors Beatrice L. Brown, a student at Yale Law School; Timo Minssen of the University of Copenhagen; and Jonathan J. Darrow of Harvard Medical School evaluates the potential of one kind of CRISPR-enhanced antimicrobial therapy and considers scientific and economic hurdles to overcome.

“While ensuring that safety remains a priority, it’s essential to create a clear pathway for the development of novel antimicrobial remedies, such as those employing CRISPR-phage technology, to effectively address this issue,” says Pacia.