FDA Approves First CRISPR Treatment in U.S.

It was only 11 years ago that scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier first described a new way to edit genes, called CRISPR, in a scientific paper. The discovery is so game-changing that the pair earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 for how it could transform the way genetic diseases are treated. Now, on Dec. 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the very first treatment in the country based on the technology.

In the medical world, that’s lightning speed. “It’s incredible,” says Doudna, professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s so exciting to see how fast, and frankly how safely and effectively, this therapy is being rolled out in humans.”

The U.K. had already …