Sean Parker to Fund Groundbreaking CRISPR Trial

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Sean Parker to Fund Groundbreaking CRISPR Trial

UPDATE: A federal ethics and biosafety panel has approved the trial – coverage:

PREVIOUS: Internet billionaire Sean Parker is funding the first proposed test of CRISPR gene-editing technology in human beings. It would mark the first clinical trial involving CRISPR.

Excerpts of coverage:

MIT Technology Review: The first proposed test of CRISPR gene-editing technology in human beings is being funded by Internet billionaire Sean Parker, MIT Technology Review has learned. The novel cancer treatment, initially disclosed last week, is being reviewed Tuesday by a federal advisory panel in Washington, D.C., and could become the first clinical trial involving CRISPR, the red-hot gene modification technology. Now we can report that Parker, a 36-year-old whose net worth is estimated at $2.4 billion, is financing the study.” Full article

Xconomy: “Internet billionaire Sean Parker’s new cancer immunotherapy institute didn’t waste time putting its $250 million to use in unexpected ways. The San Francisco-based institute, part of a massive philanthropic effort by former Facebook president Parker, is backing an experimental cancer treatment tweaked with the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9. Created at the University of Pennsylvania, the therapy has not yet reached human testing, but it could soon, which would make it the first time CRISPR-Cas9 is tested in people.” Full article

Forbes:  “The effort is being funded by The Parker Institute, the new philanthropy created by Facebook billionaire Sean Parker to battle cancer. The CRISPR work builds on earlier efforts by University of Pennsylvania professor Carl June. The idea, June explained at the Forbes Philanthropy Summit earlier this month, is to make T cells, a type of white blood cell, “better than nature made them.” The cells will be edited to lack several genes, including one that allows them to respond to a protein called PD-1, which acts as an off-switch that some cancers hijack to evade the immune system. (New drugs from Merck , Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY -0.04% and Roche all target PD-1.) “This is the first example of CRISPR in a clinical trials in humans, period,” Parker said.” Full article

Video from Forbes: “To Fight Cancer, Sean Parker Backs First Use Of CRISPR Gene Editing In Humans – Dr. Carl H. June, M.D. discusses the details of the first ever trial of CRISPR gene editing in people.” Video

BioSpace: Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Parker’s new Cancer Institute is taking aim at cancer through the use of gene editing technology of CRISPR-Cas9. How that plays out will be determined by a safety review of federal regulators later today. Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, founded in April with a $250 million endowment by the former tech giant of Facebook and Napster fame, is backing the planned testing of the gene editing technology on humans. The proposed testing will be under review today by a safety panel at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and University of Pennsylvania researchers. Full article

June 21st, 2016|