The gene therapy evolution
In 1972, Theodore Friedmann and Richard Roblin outlined the potential of gene therapy for the treatment of genetic disorders. With this publication came a wave of curiosity from researchers throughout the globe on the next generation of treatment for severe diseases.
Since the first gene therapy trial launched in 1990, we have seen a significant evolution in the field. The success of this trial sparked a cascade of research and development to unlock the potential of gene therapy. Thirty years later, gene therapy is regarded as an exciting pathway towards treatment for patients living with severe diseases that were once considered incurable.
Gene therapy as a modality is an exciting space because it changes how we look at the treatment of disease. It is designed to introduce genetic material into patient cells to essentially offering their bodies instructions to change how they themselves are treating the disease. This is an exciting prospect and for UCB, as a biopharma leader, expanding and strengthening our own gene therapy activities is part of our approach in the pursuit of continuous innovation across all dimensions of research, development and manufacturing.
At UCB, one future aspiration is to move from symptomatic treatment to disease modification, and eventually, towards cures for severe chronic diseases. To do that, we are exploring new frontiers in science and technology and strengthening our capabilities to discover and develop new medicines. We have world class discovery, research, development and manufacturing facilities, and consistently re-invest more than a quarter of our revenue back into R&D. This makes us one of the most research-intensive biopharma companies in Europe and allows us to pave the way for future therapies.
The field of gene therapy is rapidly progressing and over the coming years we are likely to see radical change and new developments. For example, the current paradigm is focused on rare genetic diseases where there is a clear genetic underpinning pathophysiology. But as our knowledge and expertise in gene therapy grows, so too will the potential targets, including more common diseases and more complex indications. In addition, technologies not imaginable a decade ago will allow us to unlock new areas of research and may bring new breakthroughs that will help reshape medicines for patients. At UCB, we’re proud to be at the forefront of this exciting new era and are continually looking to hire the brightest minds to create a meaningful difference in the lives of our patients.
If you are curious, bold, smart, inspired and like to innovate, then this is the moment to join us. For more information about our gene therapy capabilities and working for us visit our recruitment site here.