While technologies such as CRISPR that can change a patient’s DNA to thwart diseases are on the rise, researchers have been looking for alternate ways to insert healthy DNA into the cells of patients. Usually, doctors depend on viruses that are developed in specialty labs, known as viral vectors, that are disabled and used to alter genetic code. However, due to spiked demand, the supply of viral vectors is oftentimes backlogged. But finding alternative methods to viral vectors would likely have a significant impact on drug manufacturing and development costs. Earlier this month, Nature magazine published an alternative method for T cells that could help make medications quicker and cheaper to manufacture, and more effective. The method involves placing T cells alongside the desired DNA and CRISPR/Cas9 in a small well, and using an electric charge to break down the cell membrane so that CRISPR can target the T cell genome and insert the new genetic code. The method shows promise for CAR-T therapies, which have thus far had mixed results in patients and can be costly. Source: Bloomberg

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