The Word on the Street: Cell and Gene Therapy

I don’t think it’s science fiction at all. It’s absolutely science fact. We are entering a new era of medicine. Thanks to something called cell and gene therapy. This treatment approach has the potential to cure patients, But what is it? And what do you already know about it. I thought stepping outside the lab is the best way to find out. Do you know what gene therapy is? Cell and gene therapy? Not sure. When you take someone’s cells and you modify them. Wow, that’s on the spot. Simply put, we are reprogramming cells the basic building blocks of all living things. We are delivering genes into them which could be compared to a critical operating system update. This is sophisticated science. What can it do for patients? If you can aim a specific gene to a specific person, not one size fits all. It seems more personalized and I don’t hear of most medications affecting you on a genetic level. A disease that you could maybe heal with it. The answer to this question is why I’m so excited to come to work every day. Both cell and gene therapy have the intention to alleviate the underlying cause of disease. These are one time treatments. Many of them with the potential to cure. It’s life changing in that case right? We’ve come so far in such a short time. It gives you a new sense of control over the situation that has yet to be experienced by people with disease. What is your main concern about cell and gene therapy? For somebody who doesn’t have a scientific background I could imagine that you don’t, you sometimes don’t know what you modify in the end, or what the future consequences are. I don’t know if you can control it or not. There’s a number of things that could go wrong, but there’s risk in everything right? All treatments carry risks. Cell and gene therapies are no exceptions. These therapies for severe diseases are grounded in careful research that builds on decades of scientific progress. As most companies, we at Novartis are limiting our work to cellular reprogramming that can not be passed onto future generations. I wonder what do you hope cell and gene therapy will achieve? The promise of gene therapy is really, really exciting. There was a time when people had no hope and we’ve come to a point where we’ve moved beyond that. Curing blindness, why not? No seriously, why not? If you say it can, or it has the potential to fight tumors maybe even get rid of them, maybe if my mom had tried something like this she still might be around. And it’s fantastic that you guys are doing the video to be able to share knowledge with people and everything else, but I say, feet on the pavement. Get back to work. Go use it on more stuff. Go work harder and get it to work, quick as you can. What are you waiting for?

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