LONDON, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Gene editing (also called genome editing) is a group of technologies that allow researchers to change an organism's DNA by adding, removing or altering genetic material at particular locations in the genome. The emergence of advanced genome editing techniques is a major trend in the gene editing market. The new techniques in genome editing are relatively inexpensive and can be used in a variety of application areas such as improving the food supply in agriculture, rectifying specific genetic mutations in the human genome, and preventing the spread of diseases.
For instance, CRISPR-Cas9 is a gene editing technique and stands for Clustered Regularly Interspace Short Palindromic Repeats. The technique uses a strand of DNA as molecular scissors used to make cuts in DNA at specific points to make space to add new genomes. This technique is faster, cheaper, more accurate and efficient than other existing genome editing methods. Companies investing in CRISPR technology are Crispr therapeutics (CRSP), Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA), and Editas medicine.
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The gene editing market consists of sales of gene editing technology such as CRISPR/CAS9, zinc finger nucleus, and talens and related services. Gene editing technology allows genetic material to change genetic code at particular location in a genome. It involves cell line engineering, animal genetic engineering and plant genetic engineering. The global gene editing market was valued at about $3.49 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $6.05 billion at a CAGR of 14.7% through 2022.
Increasing Incidence Of Infectious Diseases Will Drive The Gene Editing Market
Infectious diseases are constantly on the rise. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2018, infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people per year. In addition to that, according to the AP-NORC (a research initiative by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago) survey in 2018, out of 1,067 adults in the US surveyed, 71% are in favor of gene editing for the treatment of incurable, hereditary diseases such as Huntington's disease and 67% of Americans support the use of gene editing to prevent diseases such as cancer.
The increase in infectious diseases acts as a major driver for the gene editing market. Gene editing techniques are used for detection of infectious diseases such as HIV. Infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Gene therapy treats the infectious diseases by blocking the replication of the infectious agent that causes the disease at the extracellular level. Gene editing introduces new genetic material into the cells of living organisms with the intention of treating the diseases.
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Restraints And Regulations In The Global Gene Editing Market
Ethical issues concerning the general public with respect to gene editing is a major restraining factor of the market. Many researchers and ethicists have argued against gene editing due to different reasons such as off-target effect (edits in the wrong place), mosaicism (when only some of the cells carry the edits) and safety concerns. Some even argued that gene editing will lead to the creation of classes of individuals who will be genetically modified to be able to do things that a normal human being is not supposed to do according to the laws of nature. Due to these reasons, gene editing is still not considered to be safe and effective by many nations and international organizations. For instance, in 2019, as per the article published in TIME, scientists from Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA have proposed a temporary prohibition on research on gene editing on human eggs, embryos, and sperms.
The European regulatory framework divided gene therapy into two categories, germline gene therapy, and somatic gene therapy. In germ line gene therapy, modified genes will be passed on to next generations whereas it's not the same case with somatic gene therapy. The current regulation by the EU has only allowed somatic gene therapy, therefore, germline gene therapy is banned. The European Medical Association provides guidelines on gene therapy for preparing market authorization application to obtain approval from the authority to carry on research and development activities in gene therapy. For instance, the EU provides guidance note on gene therapy medicinal product which is intended for use in humans, defines scientific principles, and provides guidance for development and evaluation of gene therapy products.
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