GAITHERSBURG, Md--The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has
licensed its broad patent covering gene therapy techniques to
Genetic Therapy, Inc. The inventors cited on the patent are gene
therapy pioneers W. French Anderson, Steven Rosenberg, and Michael
In other news, Genetic Therapy has announced the start of a multicenter
phase I/II clinical trial using gene therapy to treat inoperable
malignant brain tumors. This trial is being conducted in parallel
with an ongoing trial for operable malignant brain tumors.
The initial study will enroll 15 patients who will receive injections
into the tumor that produce genetically altered vectors. These
vectors transfer into the tumor cells the gene for the enzyme
thymidine kinase. Cells that express this gene produce thymidine
kinase, making them susceptible to ganciclovir (Cytovene). Ganciclovir
is then given to destroy tumor cells that have expressed the enzyme.