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Hope in Translation: Bringing Gene Therapy to the Clinic

In 1987, scientists first uncovered the gene that is the target of mutations that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a lethal muscle-wasting disease that affects about one in every 5,000 newborn boys. While the discovery of the dystrophin gene sparked hope that scientists could someday replace the mutated gene with a healthy one, turning this concept into a safe and effective treatment has been a decades-long challenge.  

In drug discovery, the process of converting early biological insights into a therapy that can be tested in the clinic is known as translational research. It’s rigorous and very often painstaking work that happens behind the scenes, but the nonetheless is a critical bridge to bringing life-transforming treatments to patients. And in the journey of developing a gene therapy for DMD, scientists have had to overcome significant hurdles due to the complexity of the disease and the various challenges of engineering vector delivery systems.  

Hope In Translation: Bringing Gene Therapy To The Clinic