A new discovery by scientists in Germany could further unlock the potential of gene therapy to fight deadly diseases.

To date, only six gene therapies have been approved for use in the EU. A major part of the problem here has been finding ways of getting healthy DNA to the target cell. In a bid to solve the transportation challenge, Dr Christian Wölk and his team of scientists from the Institute of Pharmacy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) tackling this obstacle, have developed a vehicle ‘using artificial fats to transport DNA into cells’ rather than via ‘modified viruses’. The research, published in Biomaterials Science, could lead to an acceleration in gene therapies for various cancers and congenital diseases.

“The most recent studies have been very promising,” said Wölk.”We are convinced the system works.”

Wölk and his team are currently expanding their work in this area.