According to Lu, his team was able to move fast because they are experienced with clinical trials of cancer treatments.
June is not surprised that a Chinese group would jump out in front on a trial such as this: “China places a high priority on biomedical research,” he says.
Ishii notes that if the clinical trial begins as planned, it would be the latest in a series of firsts for China in the field of CRISPR gene editing, including the first CRISPR-edited human embryos, and the first CRISPR-edited monkeys. “When it comes to gene editing, China goes first,” says Ishii.
“I hope we are the first," says Lu. "And more importantly, I hope we can get positive data from the trial.”