Genetic Therapy Inc. said Wednesday it has been grantedpermission to begin two human gene therapy trials.

The Gaithersburg, Md., company (NASDAQ:GTII) receivedpermission from the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee(RAC) of the National Institutes of Health to administer thecystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator gene to patients in amodified adenovirus and to introduce the thymidine kinasegene into brain tumor patients. This enzyme makes tumor cellssusceptible to the anti-viral drug ganciclovir.

GTI has obtained orphan drug designation for its adenoviralvector used in CF patients, and expects to begin its human trialonce the FDA has approved the study.

The brain tumor research is being conducted with clinicalcollaborators at the Iowa Methodist Medical Center and theUniversity of Iowa.

RAC also approved gene transfer trials to assess the efficacy ofbone marrow purging techniques in the treatment of leukemia,and anti-viral treatments associated with bone marrowtransplant therapies. GTI will produce vectors for these trials atSt. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. -- NancyGarcia

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.