CRISPR Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the first company to ask permission from European regulators to begin a trial next year.
Samarth Kulkarni, CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics, says the company is also planning to request approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2018 to begin a CRISPR trial for sickle-cell disease.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine are also moving a CRISPR treatment for sickle-cell to clinical trials. In addition to sickle-cell, Roncarolo says, Stanford is planning additional CRISPR trials for metabolic, autoimmune, and neurogenerative diseases. A handful of companies are also trying to modify T cells with CRISPR to treat cancer, but none have announced plans for clinical trials yet. Intellia Therapeutics, yet another CRISPR startup, hasn’t said when it plans to begin clinical trials.
In the U.S. and Europe, 2018 might not be the banner year that CRISPR devotees had been hoping for, but Alexey Bersenev, director of the Advanced Cell Therapy Lab at Yale-New Haven Hospital, says 2019 could see a dozen or so submissions for clinical trials.