Just Like That.
Her life changed.
1. Four years ago, Victoria Gray joined a groundbreaking clinical trial that would change her life. She became the first sickle-cell patient to be treated with the gene-editing technology CRISPR—and one of the first humans to be treated with CRISPR, period. CRISPR at that point had largely been used only to tinker with cells in a lab. When Gray got her experimental infusion, scientists did not know whether it would cure her disease or go terribly awry inside her. The therapy worked—better than anyone dared to hope. With her gene-edited cells, Gray now lives virtually symptom-free. Twenty-nine of 30 eligible patients in the trial went from multiple pain crises every year to zero in 12 months following treatment. The results are so astounding that this therapy, from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics, became the first CRISPR medicine ever approved, with U.K. regulators giving the green light earlier this month; the FDA appears prepared to follow suit in the next two weeks. No one yet knows the long-term effects of the therapy, but today Gray is healthy enough to work full-time and take care of her four children. “Now I’ll be there to help my daughters pick out their wedding dresses. And we’ll be able to take family vacations,” she told NPR a year after her treatment. “And they’ll have their mom every step of the way.” (Sources: theatlantic.com, fda.gov, mpr.org)