The therapy explained by Luigi Naldini

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The gene therapy developed by researchers at the Telethon Institute of Milan consists in administering a correct version of the gene that is defective in patients to the stem cells of patients, utilising a viral vector derived from HIV.

The first to have inferred the potential in gene therapy of the virus that causes AIDS was none other than the current director of TIGET, Luigi Naldini.

In 1996 he showed, on the pages of Science, that one of the world's most feared viruses, if suitably modified, can efficiently transport genes within cells that normally do not replicate, such as those of the nervous system.

The viral vectors thus obtained, called "lentiviral", retain only 10% of the original sequence of HIV, but retain their natural ability to penetrate into cells and transfer genetic material.