DATABASE: Fixing Broken Genes

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Science  09 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5668, pp. 183
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5668.183a

Gene therapy offers the tantalizing promise of curing genetic diseases by repairing the mutations that underlie them. A new federal database, dubbed the Genetic Modification Clinical Research Information System (GeMCRIS), holds protocols for more than 600 gene therapy trials completed or launched since 1990. Users can search the site by disease, investigator, vector, or location, and the database includes abstracts as well as details on methods. Some of the information was already on the Web, but the new collection is “richer” and “easier to navigate,” says Allan Shipp of the National Institutes of Health, which developed the site with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

GeMCRIS will also allow investigators to submit reports of adverse events during gene therapy trials directly to the database. Although these reports won't be posted on the public part of the Web site, Shipp says this feature will make it easier for agency officials to look across trials for safety problems.

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