Washington D.C., 12 December, 2023 / 12:00 pm (ACI Africa).
A new gene-editing therapy called Casgevy, which is designed to help treat patients suffering from sickle cell disease, has been endorsed by the National Catholic Bioethics Center and its president, Dr. Joseph Meaney.
Casgevy is a new gene therapy developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals that uses CRISPR, a genome-editing technology, to modify a patient’s blood cells and reverse the problems caused by sickle cell disease.
In an interview with “EWTN News Nightly” anchorwoman Tracy Sabol, Meaney called the new therapy, which is the first of its kind to receive FDA approval, “groundbreaking” and said that from a Catholic perspective it “is a very licit therapy” that “hopefully will be effective.”
“The Church has said since Donum Vitae really that gene therapies can be acceptable as long as they’re strictly therapeutic. That is to say that gene therapy is used to treat a genetic disease,” Meaney explained.
He noted that while there “are other people out there who want to do gene therapies to do human enhancement,” such as through “germline” gene editing that targets the reproductive cells in the body to design babies with preferred traits, that is not the case with Casgevy.