Cows Produce Therapeutics
Vienna/Munich/Bari - Researchers from Austria, Germany and Italy have cloned nine cows to produce a special anti-cancer antibody in their blood (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., April 22, doi 10.1073). With the “cow system” they yielded up to 0.1g/L of the bi-specific single chain antibody. In an in vitro assay the antibody lead to death of more than 90% of melanoma cells by activating human T-killer lymphocytes: With its first specifity the antibody binds specifically to the proteoglycan of the mela-noma cells. The other binding site activates killer cells through binding of their CD 28 surface receptor.
The expression of therapeutic antibodies in animal blood cells could be a promising route to overcome limitations of other expression systems for therapeutic proteins, according to the researchers around Gottfried Brem from University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. The new gene farming approach offers higher yields and proteins with higher stability in the human body.