Tuesday, February 22, 2000
WASHINGTON - The families of children who participated in a
gene therapy trial at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital learned last week
that the gene therapy product used in an experiment was not contaminated with
HIV or hepatitis C.
Laura Bowman, the principal investigator in the trial, told
BioCentury that FDA testing determined that the vaccine used in the study was
not contaminated. Previous assays had suggested that the viruses were present
in a "master viral bank" from which the vaccine was derived, but Bowman said
the FDA's analysis had proven that to be false. The two children who received
vaccine derived from the seed source died from their underlying neuroblastoma.