Genetically modified eggs are to treat people

Genetically modified eggs are to treat people

A promising raw material for pharmacology may be the eggs of genetically modified chickens, accumulating necessary in medicine proteins. Isolation and purification of the drug may be cheaper and more effective than when using traditional technologies.

A significant proportion of modern medical drugs are proteins, normally synthesized by human cells in small amounts. For example, these antibody-based drugs such as Herceptin, used in breast cancer, or Avastin, is effective in various malignant tumors. Have a protein and cytokines (e.g. interferons and interleukins), which regulates the immune system.

The source of these chemicals are often for the culture of human cells grown in a lab or genetically modified organisms. The allocation of active substances from such sources is a difficult and inefficient process.

In a recent paper, researchers from Scotland have proposed a fundamentally new approach: to use as a source of human proteins in the eggs of genetically modified chickens.

Rolinski Institute, located in the southern suburb of Edinburgh once famed historic experiment on cloning of the first mammal — the famous sheep Dolly. General biological significance of this scientific breakthrough was valued so highly that the public has paid little attention to the practical purpose of the study. Meanwhile, she was to learn how to propagate by cloning genetically-modified animals with useful human characteristics. Getting such animals is a main research interests of the Institute, which applies the present study Helen sang, Andrew Gill, David Hume and their colleagues.

Their work was aimed at obtaining proteins-cytokines (regulators of the human immune system) originally for research purposes.

In the genome of the chicken was introduced human genes interferon alpha-2A and derivatives of the cytokine CSF-1, which is being developed for the treatment of tissue damage.

Genes have been provided to such regulatory elements to be activated in the maturing egg. That is what happened, and proteins were synthesized with high efficiency: only three eggs contained a therapeutic dose of medications. When you consider that one chicken produces up to 300 eggs, the method is more cost effective than existing methods of obtaining appropriate drugs.

Currently, chicken eggs used to grow viruses for example influenza virus for vaccine production. Researchers used the Scottish method is characterized in that the gene of the target product is injected directly into the genome of the chicken.

The idea of genetic modification of animals with the aim of obtaining biologically active preparations is not new. In Russia in 2000-ies studied at the Institute of gene biology of RAS, the group Professor Igor Goldman (also known for his achievements in weightlifting at the age of 80 years). The group managed to develop the production of lactoferrin (a natural component of breast milk) based on milk of transgenic goats. The study was funded by a million grant from the government of Moscow.

However, in 2016, a law was passed prohibiting the use of transgenic animals for any purpose other than scientific research.

Forbes was unable to obtain information about the fate of this project.

Scottish researchers emphasize that they have developed animals-producers are also currently used only for research purposes. However, the technique has proved so effective that, according to the authors, genetically modified chickens can be used in the future for commercially efficient production of drugs for the needs of the pharmaceutical, at least at the stage of development of new drugs.

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