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New findings speed progress towards affordable gene therapy

New findings speed progress towards affordable gene therapy

IMAGE: L-R: Associate Professor Ravi Shukla and PhD researcher Arpita Poddar in their lab. view more 

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Researchers used metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) enhanced with a green tea phytochemical coating to target human prostate cancer cells for the first time.

The new method for deploying the genetic snipping tool directly into target cells is a big step towards more effective, safer and cheaper gene therapy with treatment potential for multiple genetic disorders.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Ravi Shukla, said MOFs, which are versatile and biocompatible nanomaterials, were a promising alternative to existing viral methods for delivering the gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9.

“MOFs have the capacity to carry larger genetic loads and as a non-viral option, have the added benefit of being a safer prospect for patients than viral alternatives,” he said.

Awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, CRISPR/Cas9, is widely acknowledged as a breakthrough in genetic editing for its ability to remove and replace defective DNA, however the biggest challenge remains effectively delivering it to cells.

There are currently just 13 approved methods in trial globally and all rely on viral therapies, an approach which is both extremely costly and has associated health risks.

RMIT has partnered with the CSIRO who

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Article originally posted at

www.eurekalert.org

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