Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), one of the world’s most common genetic disorders, causes anemia and progressive multiorgan damage that typically shortens lifespan by decades; currently there is no broadly applicable curative therapy. A universal curative therapy for SCD would address a critical unmet medical need in the United States and worldwide. During this webinar, Dr. Mark DeWitt will discuss the development of a CRISPR/Cas9-based strategy to correct the mutation in CD34+ HSPCs harvested from SCD patients. This technique does not rely on viral vectors that can be challenging to manufacture, instead using synthetic reagents: a Cas9 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) targeting the sickle mutation, and a short single-stranded DNA to program gene correction via homology-directed repair (HDR). These studies will be used to support a 2020 IND filing to initiate a Phase I clinical study in 2021, the first of its kind using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-directed repair in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. He will conclude with a critical assessment of the current state of sickle cell disease gene therapy, including progress we have made and challenges that still remain.