The rapidly evolving state of gene therapy

FASEB J. 2018 Apr;32(4):1733-1740. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700982R.


Gene therapy is emerging as a viable option for clinical therapy of monogenic disorders and other genetically defined diseases, with approved gene therapies available in Europe and newly approved gene therapies in the United States. In the past 10 years, gene therapy has moved from a distant possibility, even in the minds of much of the scientific community, to being widely realized as a valuable therapeutic tool with wide-ranging potential. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved Luxturna (Spark Therapeutics Inc, Philadelphia, PA, USA), a recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) 2 gene therapy for one type of Leber congenital amaurosis 2 ( 1 , 2 ). The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved 3 recombinant viral vector products: Glybera (UniQure, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), an rAAV vector for lipoprotein lipase deficiency; Strimvelis (Glaxo Smith-Kline, Brentford, United Kingdom), an ex vivo gammaretrovirus-based therapy for patients with adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immune deficiency (ADA-SCID); and Kymriah (Novartis, Basel, Switzerland), an ex vivo lentivirus-based therapy to engineer autologous chimeric antigen-receptor T (CAR-T) cells targeting CD19-positive cells in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These examples will be followed by the clinical approval of other gene therapy products as this field matures. In this review we provide an overview of the state of gene therapy by discussing where the field stands with respect to the different gene therapy vector platforms and the types of therapies that are available.-Gruntman, A. M., Flotte, T. R. The rapidly evolving state of gene therapy.

Keywords: AAV; approved clinical products; gammaretrovirus; gene editing; lentivirus; vector platforms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Rare Diseases / genetics
  • Rare Diseases / therapy*
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics*
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / genetics
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / therapy*


  • Recombinant Proteins