Chinese scientists bred a genetically altered cow capable of producing cancer fighting proteins for humans
Chinese scientists announced on Monday that they have bred a genetically altered cow capable of producing cancer fighting proteins for humans. The cow, which can produce CD20 antibodies in its milk, was born in Beijing on Aug. 2 and a dozen more are due to be born next month. The human monoclonal (produced from a single cell) antibodies could be purified from the milk of the transgenic cow, and used to treat B cell lymphomas and leukemias and some auto-immune diseases, said research team leader Li Ning, an academician with China Academy of Engineering. The calf weighed 38 kg at birth. In seven to eight months, the research team would induce lactation to test its antibody expression.
The low antibody expression level and high cost of cell culture has been a stumbling block in the industrial production of the antibody drug, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. The U.S.-based Business Communication Corp. has estimated the worldwide market for transgenically sourced therapies at more than1 billion U.S. dollars in 2008 and 18.6 billion dollars by 2013.