Can a CRISPR startup succeed where Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Biogen and Genentech failed and cure chronic pain?
A few years ago, when Ana Moreno was doing her PhD work at the San Diego lab of one of the early CRISPR gene editing researchers, she came across a paper that made national headlines a decade prior.
Researchers in the UK followed up on stories of a Pakistani boy who could walk on coals and pass knives through his arms and determined that rare mutations in one gene, called Nav1.7, made him and several relatives unable to feel pain. The finding, the New York Times reported, raises “hopes of developing novel drugs that would abolish pain by blocking the gene’s function.”
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