Gene therapies for transfusion dependent β-Thalassemia: current status and critical criteria for success.

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Thalassemia is one of the most prevalent monogenic diseases most frequently caused by quantitative defects in the production of β-globin leading to severe anemia. Technological advances in genome sequencing, stem cell selection, viral vector development, transduction and gene-editing strategies now allow for efficient ex-vivo genetic manipulation of human stem cells that can lead to correction leading to a meaningful clinical benefit in thalassemia patients. In this review, the status of the gene-therapy approaches available for transfusion dependent thalassemia are discussed, along with the critical criteria that affect efficacy and lessons that have been learned from the early phase trials. Salient steps necessary for the clinical development, manufacturing, and regulatory approvals of gene therapies for thalassemia are also highlighted, so that the potential of these therapies can be realized. It is highly anticipated that gene therapies will soon become a treatment option for patients lacking compatible donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplant and will offer an alternative for definitive treatment of β- thalassemia. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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