Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Sangamo tries its hand with zinc fingers for Huntington’s

NEW ORLEANS — Sangamo BioSciences, the Richmond, California company that has sped ahead with engineered ‘zinc fingers’, is pointing to these proteins as a powerful tools in treating an ever-increasing list of illnesses. Clinicians at the Glandular Disease Research Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, began testing Sangamo’s first therapeutic in 2006, in individuals with diabetic neuropathy, but this was halted in 2011 at the end of phase 2 clinical trials because there was insufficient evidence of its efficacy. At present, the company is involved in on-going clinical trials of zinc fingers for glioblastoma and HIV. It hopes to eventually add Huntington’s disease to that roster, thanks to encouraging data from tests on cells. But the ease of applying the zinc finger approach to diseases affecting the brain presents a more challenging endeavor. 

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