Another Race for the Cure

From: "Byron Werner" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:40:03 -0700

>Company Sees New Source Of Drugs In Pig Semen

>By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Biotechnology companies are racing to produce cows and sheep that produce human
>proteins in their milk for medical uses. Now Canadian researchers say they want to follow the same idea -- using pig

>Francois Othier and colleagues at the University of Laval in Ste-Foy, Quebec say they hope to genetically engineer pigs
>to produce in their semen a human protein used to treat people with hemophilia.

>Othier said using male pigs does have an advantage over cows and sheep, which take longer to breed, produce only
>one or two offspring and which can only produce milk once they are

>``The pregnancy is only 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days in this species, you can multiply the animals very rapidly and the
>male becomes sexually mature at 6 months of age,'' he said.

>``You can collect from 250 to 500 ml of semen per ejaculate and they could be collected all the year round,'' he added.

>``We think that the pig could be a good alternative to the mammary

>Othier said people may be amused or horrified at first by the idea, but said the technology can produce life-saving

>``The animal does not suffer from the manipulation and the collection of semen is something we do every day around the
>world for artificial insemination,'' he said -- referring to a common farming practice.

******************************************************************************** Byron Werner 310 314-2800 ext. 2056
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