Original articles

Gene and cell therapy in South Africa: Current status and future prospects

A Ely, K Bloom, M B Maepa, J N Mahlangu, M S Pepper, P Arbuthnot

Abstract


South Africa has a high disease burden resulting from communicable and non-communicable diseases. Current therapeutic interventions rarely result in a cure and the associated lifelong treatment places a considerable strain on an overburdened health sector. Gene and cell therapies present novel alternatives to disease management, offering the promise of a single treatment and a lifelong cure. Although challenges remain, investment in the field has started to bear fruit, with a number of gene and cell therapeutics reaching the market in the past decade. To take full advantage of these developments, it is important that a proactive approach to nurturing appropriate human and material resources is adopted in the country.


Authors' affiliations

A Ely, Wits/SAMRC Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

K Bloom, Wits/SAMRC Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

M B Maepa, Wits/SAMRC Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

J N Mahlangu, Haemophilia Comprehensive Care Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

M S Pepper, SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Immunology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

P Arbuthnot, Wits/SAMRC Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(8b):12-16. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i8b.13819

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-09-10
Date published: 2019-09-10

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