News 260 views update:Feb 3, 2010

Grant supports development of antibodies from transgenic chickens

Origen Therapeutics, California, has been awarded an Advanced Technology Program grant of $2 million from the US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The 3-year grant will be used to support the development of a new method for discovering and producing human polyclonal antibodies to treat human diseases by inserting complex genetic modifications into the chicken genome, enabling the chickens to deposit large amounts of the therapeutic antibodies into their eggs.
"We are very pleased to receive this new grant, which is one of the last to be awarded under the recently ended ATP program," says Robert Kay, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Origen Therapeutics. "We thank NIST for recognizing the strategic importance of this effort, the only independent U.S. program focused on the development of human polyclonal antibodies, which offer the potential for achieving the next major advance in therapeutic antibodies for a wide range of diseases."
Dr Kay notes that this grant builds on previous support from NIST for Origen's avian embryonic stem cell technology and from the National Institutes of Health for the production of human antibodies in chicken eggs for use as passive immunotherapy against infectious disease organisms including potential agents of bioterrorism.
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