The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has committed up to $45.5M to support its Somatic Cell Genome Editing programme. The money will make up a series of grants to be paid to the $190M programme over the next four fiscal years.

The SCGE programme was launched by the NIH earlier this year, with the intention of improving delivery mechanisms for gene editing tools, developing new editing techniques and tools, and developing assays that are capable of identifying the efficacy and safety of different gene editing tools. The results of this research will then be used to build a ‘gene editing toolkit’ to share with researchers and clinicians.

“The simplicity and broad applicability of targeted and programmable genome editing approaches raise the possibility of a fundamentally new way to treat a variety of rare genetic diseases, as well as numerous therapeutic strategies for common diseases,” the NIH said. “However, many challenges need to be overcome before such techniques could be widely used in the clinic.”

Now, the NIH has announced their plan to grant $45.5M to the programme. $19.5M of the funding will be used for 8-10 grants supporting research into delivery mechanisms for human somatic cells; $16M will cover 6 research projects investigating platforms that can predict adverse outcomes of gene editing; as much as $6M is for 4 awards supporting research into non-invasive methods for monitoring and tracking gene editing in vivo; and $4M is being set aside for 3 projects to develop novel gene editing technologies and platforms.

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