Topics Statement on Gene-Edited Babies Claim
Through collaboration and cooperation with external institutions, including those overseas and global consortia, AMED accelerates medical research and development as it strives to contribute to the “three essential phases of life of patients and their families” (biological life, day-to-day life and life from birth to death).
According to reports, Dr. He Jiankui, of the Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen, claims that twin girls were born after embryos had been subject to genome-editing technology. AMED expresses deep concern regarding his work. In Japan, such genome editing of embryos is not allowed and AMED does not support research of this nature.
Although genome editing is an important field for medical research and development, its applications to medicine require thorough review of its safety and ethics. The series of reported events will jeopardize the public’s trust in medical research and development, on which efforts have been made by many scientists and responsible others.
For the sake of safe and ethical genome editing research in the future, AMED hopes that the facts surrounding his work will be revealed as quickly as possible and that sufficient discussions on its applications among the scientific community and the public will be implemented.
Makoto Suematsu, M.D., Ph.D
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
Last updated 2018.11.30