Pharmaceutical factories

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have teamed up with a Massachusetts company to expand the ways farm animals can be used as pharmaceutical factories. The company, GTC Biotherapeutics, is the first to make a drug that can be milked from genetically engineered dairy goats. The medication is an anti-thrombin drug called ATryn, which is used to treat people with clotting disorders. It’s not the first time animals have been used to made medicines, but their latest technology is pushing the limits of pharmaceutical science. WHYY’s Kerry Grens reports.

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have teamed up with a Massachusetts company to expand the ways farm animals can be used as pharmaceutical factories. The company, GTC Biotherapeutics, is the first to make a drug that can be milked from genetically engineered dairy goats. The medication is an anti-thrombin drug called ATryn, which is used to treat people with clotting disorders. It’s not the first time animals have been used to made medicines, but their latest technology is pushing the limits of pharmaceutical science. WHYY’s Kerry Grens reports. headphonesListen to the mp3 »

    New Bolton Center
    At the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center researchers are genetically engineering goats into 'pharm factories.'
    Male dairy goats like these are genetically altered so their female offspring produce medicine in their milk.
    Male dairy goats like these are genetically altered so their female offspring produce medicine in their milk.
    Professor Ina Dobrinski and her lab technician Mark Modelski have found a way to short-cut the conventional method of goat cloning and make the process more efficient.
    Professor Ina Dobrinski and her lab technician Mark Modelski have found a way to short-cut the conventional method of goat cloning and make the process more efficient.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.