SAN FRANCISCO — As one Los Angeles newborn recovered from pioneering gene therapy to combat an immune system disease, another afflicted infant Monday underwent the same treatment--one that doctors hope can be used to fight other, more common genetic disorders.
Three-day-old Zachary Riggins, whose rare hereditary defect could mean an early death or dependence on costly drugs, received an injection of his own genetically altered cells at the UC San Francisco Medical Center.
The procedure, resembling a blood transfusion, lasted about five minutes.
Meanwhile, 6-day-old Andrew Gobea was doing well at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, two days after he became the first baby to undergo gene therapy.
Both children suffer from severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID, caused by the lack of an enzyme essential to maintaining the immune system. The rare, inherited disorder leaves the body defenseless against infectious disease.