Therapeutic protein production in chicken eggs

17-01-2007 | |
Therapeutic protein production in chicken eggs

Researchers at the Roslin Institute, Scotland, have successfully bred five generations of transgenic hens producing therapeutic proteins in the whites of their eggs.


Researchers have reported the successful production of two drug candidates in the eggs of these transgenic hens:

  • A humanised monoclonal antibody for the treatment of malignant melanoma
  • Interferon beta-1a for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The organisation is working with Oxford BioMedica and Viragen to develop their avian transgenic system as a large-scale biomanufacturing alternative for a variety of proteins.

Alan Kingsman, CEO of Oxford BioMedica: ”This technology could address a substantial need in the biopharmaceutical industry for efficient, high-volume production of biological products.”

It has previously been estimated that a small flock of a few hundred hens could satisfy the entire US market demand for interferon beta-1a.

”We are very pleased that the PNAS article chronicles our ‘proof-of-principle’ studies resulting in successful germline transmission of two therapeutic proteins,” said Viragen vice president, Karen Jervis.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


Related links:

Roslin Institute

Oxford BioMedica



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