Animal pharma

Animal pharma

Cosmos magazine: Transgenic animals are poised to become pharmaceutical factories, churning out everything from natural insulin to cancer treatments. Branwen Morgan reports.

It’s an idyllic setting: the silence of the countryside, green meadows rolling into the distance and cows foraging lazily on the grass. What’s out of place is a double row of two-metre-high, fully alarmed fencing surrounding each paddock – the only clue that these ordinary-looking cows might be unusual. And indeed they are: they’re transgenic.

These cows have extra genes that allow them to make a protein in their milk that could soon be used to treat people with multiple sclerosis; it’s already in the second stage of human clinical trials. Welcome to the brave new world of farm-gate pharmaceuticals.

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