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Common Cold Virus Could Lead To Cystic Fibrosis Cure

July 21, 2009 6:31 a.m. EST

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David Goodhue - AHN Reporter

Chapel Hill, NC (AHN) - Scientists with the University of North Carolina say they can deliver corrected genes to the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients using a virus known to cause the common cold.

Using the parainfluenza virus engineered to contain corrected cystic fibrosis genes, the scientists say they can deliver the gene to 60 to 70 percent of a patient's lung cells. Only 25 percent of the cells need to be targeted to restore normal lung function, the researchers said in a statement.

Their work appeared in the Public Library of Science journal Biology.

"When you consider that in past gene therapy clinical trials, the targeting efficiency has been somewhere around 0.1 percent of cells at best, you can see this is a giant leap forward," Ray Pickles, and associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Cystic Fibrosis Research and Treatment Center at UNC said in a statement.

Pickles and his colleagues are now working on ensuring the safety of the delivery system. They need to alter the virus more to reduce the risk of causing an inflammatory reaction

Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7015850980?Common%20Cold%20Virus%20Could%20Lead%20To%20Cystic%20Fibrosis%20Cure#ixzz0LyK1JG0X

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