About gene therapy

Gene therapy means that new genetic material (DNA) is introduced into specific cells of the animal to compensate for abnormal genes or to make a beneficial protein.
For the DNA to enter a cell it needs a carrier called a vector. Certain viruses are often used as vectors because they can deliver the new gene by infecting the cells. The viruses are modified so they can’t cause disease.
The vector with the new genes can be injected directly into a specific tissue in the body, where it is taken up by individual cells. When the new genes are inside the cell nucleus, they utilize the cell’s normal protein-production system to express the proteins that they code for.
In Panion’s epilepsy product, two new genes are inserted into an adeno-associated virus vector, which is used to introduce the new genes into the epileptic dog’s brain cells.

When the virus has delivered its DNA-load, it is removed by the body and the new genes inside the brain-cells will make two functional proteins that reduces the epileptic disease.

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There are many gene therapy projects under development worldwide, in particular for diseases in the human field,
See overview of development projects in Gene therapy.

Reuters: GSK gets EU approval for first gene therapy for children >>

Also for other diseases in dogs:
FierceBiotech: Gene therapy tried in dogs with muscle disease could prove useful for people >>

Molecular Therapy: Systemic AAV8-Mediated Gene Therapy Drives Whole-Body Correction of Myotubular Myopathy in Dogs >>