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Abstract

On September 21-22, 1995, an international meeting entitled “Targeting of Novel Therapeutics to the Liver and GI Tract” was held at the Natcher Conference Center on the campus of the National Institutes of Health. The conference was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases through the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and Digestive Diseases Interagency Coordinating Committee (DDICC). Section 440A of Public Law 94-562 in 1976 created the DDICC for the purpose of coordinating the digestive disease-related research activities of relevant federal health agencies into a coordinated program aimed at combating digestive diseases. As part of this federal effort, an assessment of the “state of the art” for targeted drug therapeutics to the liver and gene therapy was undertaken through the conference, cochaired by Dr. Mark Zern (Thomas Jefferson Medical College) and Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal (University of California, San Diego, CA). The conference was divided into four sessions: Session I was Vectors and Techniques; Session II was Liver and Metabolic Diseases; Session III was Hepatitis and GI Disease; and Session IV was Approaches for HIV Infection. This summary focuses on the new technologies and the studies directly pertaining to liver disease. Table 1 lists the techniques and their applications. Table 2 describes viral vectors that have been employed for the purpose of hepatic gene therapy. Table 3 summarizes the studies presented as posters at the conference.