In 1970, Dr. Rogers thought that “good” DNA could be used to replace defective DNA in individuals with genetic disorders. He tried this idea out on two girls in Germany who were suffering from a genetic disorder called argininemia but his attempt was unsuccessful. This was thought to be due to the instability of the virus, which underwent a rigorous purification procedure and failed to stimulate arginase induction.1,2

In 1972, Dr. Friedmann and Dr. Roblin published the paper “Gene therapy for human genetic disease” in Science and the authors encouraged Dr. Rogers to proceed with caution. The authors proposed that a complete set of ethico-scientific criteria be developed to guide the clinical application of gene therapy to ensure the beneficial use of this therapy and prevent misuse through premature application.3