Engineered Goats May Usher In New Age of Drugs

Animals' bodies act as processors for key protein
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2009 12:30 PM CST
Genetically-engineered rabbits can provide an important protein.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Goats could be the pharma factories of tomorrow: Genetic engineering can prompt them to make a protein in their milk to fight excessive blood clotting. A medication culled from the process was greeted warmly yesterday by an expert panel, and now the FDA is looking into it. If approved, the drug, ATryn, could be the first of many meds derived from genetically-engineered goats, rabbits, and other creatures, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“We're taking advantage of the fact that the mammary gland was designed by nature to make proteins,” said a rep for the ATryn maker. Just a small herd of animals can cheaply produce the needed quantities of many medications. But those opposed to such genetic interference aren’t smiling on the development. “I think many people are going to have the same revulsion,” said a member of an advocacy group.