Cure for cystic fibrosis ‘a step closer’

Lab tests show promising results for a US gene therapy

American researchers believe they are getting closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.

The University of California has successfully used a virus to deliver a new gene through the body to replace the faulty one that causes cystic fibrosis, according to a BBC report.

CF damages health by producing thick mucus in the lung and pancreas, which causes infections. In the lab test, diseased lung tissue was cleared of this mucus.

Past attempts at this gene therapy have failed when the immune system intercepted the virus. This time, the virus was altered by researchers and managed to get through to deliver its gene ‘cargo’.

Around 8,000 people in the UK have CF, and most sufferers die before they are 40.

UK researchers are planning the first large-scale trial of gene therapy in CF patients later this year.

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