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5-Animals: First successful cloning of transgenic goats



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TITLE:  Genzyme Transgenics Corporation Announces First
        Successful Cloning of Transgenic Goats
SOURCE: Genzyme, press release
DATE:   April 26, 1999

----------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ ------------------


Genzyme Transgenics Corporation Announces First Successful Cloning of Transgenic Goats

Louisiana State University and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine announced in the May issue of Nature Biotechnology that collaborating scientists from these organizations produced the world's first cloned transgenic goats. The three healthy, identical females were born in October and November 1998 at Genzyme Transgenics’ farm in central Massachusetts. The first cloned transgenic goat produces human antithrombin III (rhATIII) in its milk.

Transgenics is the process of taking DNA from one species and implanting it into the genetic structure of another. Genzyme Transgenics uses this process in the development and production of human therapeutics in the milk of animals. Subsequent to the successful birth of the first cloned goat, testing indicated that the animal was transgenic, and the goat’s milk tested positive for the human protein ATIII. ATIII is a protein normally found in human plasma that helps regulate blood clotting. Currently in Phase III clinical trials, rhATIII is being evaluated for its ability to provide effective anticoagulation in patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass. Recombinant ATIII is being developed through a joint venture between Genzyme Transgenics and Genzyme Corporation.

"Antithrombin III is the first transgenically produced protein to be introduced in human clinical trials and progress to Phase III testing," said Sandra Nusinoff Lehrman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Genzyme Transgenics Corporation. "This successful cloning effort advances our mission to efficiently produce transgenic biopharmaceuticals with the potential to treat a variety of important medical illnesses and diseases." The cloning program was supported in part by a grant to Genzyme Transgenics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was coordinated by Dr. Yann Echelard, associate director of embryology at Genzyme Transgenics. The cloning team was led by Dr. Esmail Behboodi from Genzyme Transgenics, Dr. Eric Overstrom from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and Richard Denniston from Louisiana State University.

Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine has been working with Genzyme Transgenics since March 1997, under a contract research agreement to produce cloned transgenic goats. Dr. Robert Godke's laboratory of the Department of Animal Science at Louisiana State University has been working with Genzyme Transgenics since May 1993 under a collaborative agreement to further the field of reproductive physiology for the production of transgenic goats. "The first successful cloning of a transgenic goat represents a major milestone and enhances Genzyme Transgenics’ leadership in the field of transgenic technology and biopharmaceutical product development," said Esmail Behboodi, senior scientist, Genzyme Transgenics Corporation.

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Genzyme Transgenics Corporation applies transgenic technology to enable the development and production of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies for medical uses. Primedica Corporation, Genzyme Transgenics’ contract organization, provides preclinical development and testing to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other companies. Genzyme Transgenics Corporation is also developing idiotypic vaccines in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute. This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the uncertainties associated with product development, the risk that clinical trials will not commence when planned, and the risks and uncertainties associated with dependence upon the actions of government and regulatory agencies.



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