Genetically modified goats produce drug

Jan. 10, 2009 at 11:59 AM
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BOSTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Scientists in Massachusetts say milk from a herd of genetically engineered goats is proving valuable in preventing dangerous blood clots.

A human protein from the milk is extracted and turned into a medicine to fight strokes, pulmonary embolisms and other dangerous conditions caused by blood clots, say scientists at GTC Biotheraputics.

A panel of the Food and Drug Administration Friday voted overwhelmingly that the drug -- called ATryn -- is safe and effective. The FDA is expected to make a final ruling next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

If approved, the drug would be the first from a genetically engineered animal to be approved in the United States. Milk produced by genetically engineered rabbits and cows already is being tested to produce future lines of drugs to treat hemophilia, respiratory disease and swollen tissues.

While the biotechnology industry is rooting for ATryn, many consumers may balk at taking drugs made from genetically modified animals, said Jaydee Hanson, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group that opposes such genetic manipulation.

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