Gene therapy "Made in Germany": a historical perspective, analysis of the status quo, and recommendations for action by the German Society for Gene Therapy


  • H. Büning
  • B. Fehse
  • Z. Ivics
  • S. Kochanek
  • U. Koehl
  • C. Kupatt
  • C. Mussolino
  • D.M. Nettelbeck
  • A. Schambach
  • W. Uckert
  • E. Wagner
  • T. Cathomen


  • Human Gene Therapy


  • Hum Gene Ther 32 (19-20): 987-996


  • Gene therapies have been successfully applied to treat severe inherited and acquired disorders. Although research and development are sufficiently well funded in Germany and while the output of scientific publications and patents is comparable with the leading nations in gene therapy, the country lags noticeably behind with regard to the number of both clinical studies and commercialized gene therapy products. In this article, we give a historical perspective on the development of gene therapy in Germany, analyze the current situation from the standpoint of the German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT), and define recommendations for action that would enable our country to generate biomedical and economic advantages from innovations in this sector, instead of merely importing advanced therapy medicinal products. Inter alia, we propose (1) to harmonize and simplify regulatory licensing processes to enable faster access to advanced therapies, and (2) to establish novel coordination, support and funding structures that facilitate networking of the key players. Such a center would provide the necessary infrastructure and know-how to translate cell and gene therapies to patients on the one hand, and pave the way for commercialization of these promising and innovative technologies on the other. Hence, these courses of action would not only benefit the German biotech and pharma landscape but also the society and the patients in need of new treatment options.