Evolving the role of gene editing in cell therapy

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2020; 6(9), 1339–1350


Published: 29 October 2020
Innovator Insight
Jonathan Frampton, Torsten Meissner, Tristan Thwaites

The potential of cell therapy has captured the interest and imagination of many – but all cell therapies are not created equal. Autologous approaches offer significant drawbacks relating to cost and economy of scale, and as a result, interest is also growing in the idea of an off-the-shelf ‘universal’ cell that can be produced at large scales and be given to many patients. However, a significant barrier to this goal has yet to be fully addressed: the immune response.

Gene editing could offer a solution to a range of issues facing the cell therapy field, and could prove critical for delivering the next generation of cell therapies. This article will provide an overview of gene editing options for cell therapies, a discussion of the practical considerations and tools available, and the personal account of an immunologist working to overcome the issues of the immune system via gene editing in order to enable safer and more practical cell therapies.