WASHINGTON--The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a
broad patent on gene therapy to the National Institutes of Health.
Six years after filing the application, NIH and its licensee,
Genetic Therapy, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland, can now use the
patent for ex vivo human gene therapy.
In this technique, human cells are manipulated in the laboratory
to express potentially therapeutic genes, which are then introduced
into a patient to treat disease. Coinventors of the technique
are Michael Blaese, MD, and Stephen A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, both
NIH scientists, and W. French Anderson, MD, a former NIH researcher
now at the University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center.