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5-Animals: GE pharma goats produced in Taiwan

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TITLE:  Transgenic cloned goat a first for Taiwan
SOURCE: Taipei Times, Taiwan, by Chiu Yu-Tzu
DATE:   9 Sep 2005

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Transgenic cloned goat a first for Taiwan

The nation's first transgenic cloned animal, a female goat, and her four-
month-old male goat were displayed to the public yesterday by the Council
of Agriculture, which said they were proof of Taiwan's ability to create
genetically modified livestock for the production of medicines for human

The director of the council's Livestock Research Institute, Wang Cheng-
taung, said that the 18-month-old mother, named Paoyu, is carrying a
foreign gene provided by National Taiwan University.

Last November, researchers mated Paoyu with a male goat to see if the
goat's mammary glands could reproduce the human gene encoding coagulation
factor VIII, which would be useful for patients suffering from hemophilia A.

On April 25, Paoyu gave birth to a male goat. The coagulation factor VIII
gene was discovered to be present in the goat.

"Our recent research results suggest that not only transgenic cloned
goats have the ability to propagate, but also that the foreign gene
carried in this animal is hereditary," Wang said.

The institute's achievement marks a milestone in the development of
animal biotechnology in Taiwan. The technology used in cloning goats
could eventually be used not only to improve features of livestock but
also to create genetically modified livestock as bioreactors for clinical

Chen Chuan-mu, a professor at National Chung Hsing University, said that
coagulation factor VIII used by human patients is currently purified from
human blood. However, production using blood carries risks, including the
possibility of infection.

"Producing coagulation factor VIII in the goat's mammary gland rather
than in human blood could provide a cheaper and safer method," Chen said.

Institute deputy director Lee Shan-nan said that no other researchers had
reported on production of coagulation factor VIII in goats. He said the
project was a team effort involving scientists from the institute,
National Taiwan University, National Chung Hsing University and National
Pingtung University of Science and Technology. The research team is
applying for a genetics patent in the US.

Lee said that hemophilia A patients need 300g of coagulation factor VIII
each year, which costs US$870 million. Local researchers are working on
ways of increasing the concentration of the gene encoding coagulation
factor VIII in the milk of cloned goats. In each cubic centimeter of
Paoyu's milk, for example, there are only 15 micrograms of coagulation
factor VIII.

Premier Frank Hsieh, who visited the institute's facilities to see the
goats, said advancement of such technology would result in more business


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