A Kingston scientist has delivered his verdict on a revolutionary form of treatment for sufferers of genetic disorders at a high-profile international convention. Dr Nasir Hussain, from the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, presented a lecture entitled Gene Therapy: The Implications for Pharmacy Practice at the Dubai International Pharmaceuticals and Technologies (DUPHAT) Conference.
Speaking on behalf of the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Hussain explained how gene therapy could correct defective genes responsible for the development of disease. The technique was most likely to involve the replacement of a faulty gene with one that worked normally. “Gene therapy has the potential to treat inherited disorders such as cystic fibrosis as well as acquired diseases such as HIV,” Dr Hussain said. “If a gene isn’t functioning properly, it can be replaced. It is also possible that gene addition, which can make a tumour appear foreign so the body recognises the threat and attacks it, could be used to treat cancer,” he said.
Although some gene therapy products are available in China, Dr Hussain does not expect them to be released in Europe or the United States in the immediate future.