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5-Animals: U.S. company AviGenics announces GE chickens

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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Terminator Chicken
SOURCE: sent by PATNEWS,, by Gregory Aharonian
        and David Hathaway,
DATE:   October 25, 2000

------------------ archive: ------------------

Terminator Chicken

The US biotech firm AviGenics is genetically engineering a chicken to yield 
more meat. In addition, the company plans to insert a DNA copyright tag 
among its genes to stop anyone breeding it without permission.AviGenics is 
one of several US companies that are also adding human genes to chickens, 
in the hopes of turning the poultry into drug factories -- transgenic birds 
that produce pharmaceuticals that they can extract and market for profit.


>From the company homepage:

The Leader in Avian Transgenesis

AviGenics, inc. is poised to be the first company to create and 
commercialize recombinant biopharmaceuticals using transgenic chickens as 
bioreactors, and to develop lines of poultry with improved agronomic traits 
through cloning and genetic modification.

By relying on existing poultry and vaccine industry infrastructures for 
pathogen-free egg production and pharmaceutical grade product processing, 
and the inherent efficiencies of chickens as protein producers, AviGenics 
can outperform other recombinant biopharmaceutical production systems due 
to short time-to-market, low production and capital costs, and safe 

Improved agronomic traits, such as faster growing and disease-resistant 
birds, can quickly be incorporated into commercial poultry breeding and 
growing programs, revolutionizing the economics of the poultry industry 

AviGenics was established in April 1996 to pursue development and 
commercialization of avian transgenesis. In the three years since, 
AviGenics has achieved milestones including creation of somatic and 
germline transgenic chickens, constitutive expression and synthesis of a 
foreign protein in somatic chimeras and improved hatching of windowed eggs 
(leading to the Company's first patent). With these accomplishments, 
AviGenics is positioned to be the first to commercialize recombinant 
protein production from hen oviduct bioreactors and to develop lines of 
poultry with improved agronomic traits.

AviGenics' technology cuts broadly across the biopharmaceutical and poultry 
industries, creating numerous product possibilities and opportunities for 
alliances with food, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, and poultry 
breeders and growers. Such alliances and corporate partnerships are the key 
to AviGenics' business strategy.

AviGenics has its headquarters in Athens, GA where all research and 
development activities take place. Basic research into avian transgenesis 
is carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Ivarie, co-founder of 
AviGenics, under a sponsored research agreement with the University of 
Georgia Research Foundation.

Avian transgenesis can benefit the broiler segment of the poultry industry 
* Enhancement of short-term, broad-range disease resistance
* Targeted expression of genes enhancing muscle fiber hyperplasia and 
hypertrophy, and increases in dark and white muscle through gene targeting
* Introduction of unique signature DNA sequences to protect proprietary 
rights to established breeder and newly developed transgenic lines.

AviGenics and its partners can control the proliferation of the Company's 
proprietary genetics.Unique DNA sequences can be engineered and introduced 
into the poultry genome to indelibly mark valuable transgenic and breeder 
lines, effectively acting as genetic encryption devices.AviGenics is 
developing this technology to mark its proprietary lines, for instance in 
FibrGroTM Advantage broiler lines.This technology may also be made 
available to poultry breeders.

AviGenics, Inc. 425 River Road Athens, GA 30602-2771

To contact us:
Phone: 706-227-1170
FAX: 706-227-2180


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