Experts have reiterated the call for an internationally accepted framework on the scientific and medical issues surrounding the clinical use of germline editing.
Earlier this month, the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing held its first public meeting where delegates discussed the current state of understanding on genetics and genetic manipulation and gathered perspectives on translational pathways for somatic genome editing from the laboratory to treatment. The Commission was formed in the wake of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing where a researcher from China announced the birth of twins whose healthy genomes had been edited.
Speaking at the meeting, Victor J. Dzau, President of the US National Academy of Medicine, said the revelations and the news that a Russian scientist is planning to produce gene-edited babies underscore the need for an internationally accepted framework to address the issues surrounding the clinical use of germline editing. “The framework could inform the development of a potential pathway from research to clinical use – if society concludes that heritable human genome editing applications are acceptable,” he said.
The second meeting of the Commission takes place in London this November. The Commission is expected to publish its final report next spring.