A herd of 100 goats can fully satisfy the world’s need for antibodies that can help in the treatment of certain types of cancer.
Scientists from New Zealand said that they managed to create a genetically modified goat milk containing monoclonal anti-cancer antibodies.
Article about it was published on the portal preprints and bioRxiv, that is still awaiting review by the scientific community.
Monoclonal antibodies are considered the most promising remedy against malignant tumors. Obtaining such antibodies is one of the most important tasks of modern biotechnology.
The researchers achieved that goats together with milk isolated immunoglobulin G to receptors of epidermal growth factors, similar to those contained in the drug called cetuximab. This medication is used to treat several types of cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and metastatic colorectal.
The cost of the course cetuximab – about 13 thousand dollars. Scientists hope that their development will make cancer treatment more affordable. “To produce cetuximab with animals is much more economical, because their mammary glands can produce large amounts of proteins,” explains head of the research group Goetz Laible.
The high cost of cetuximab not only due to the fact that this drug is laboratory method. Structure of immunoglobulins, constituent, very difficult. Therefore, they have to obtain from cell cultures under strictly controlled conditions, which, of course, leads to high production costs.
Genes encoding anti-cancer antibodies, inserted into the genome of goat cells. We used the same technology that was used to create the famous cloned sheep Dolly. Two lines of transgenic goats obtained as a result of such intervention, showed rather high concentrations of antibodies in milk – about 10 g/L.
In addition, immunoglobulins from goat’s milk, some characteristics were better than those contained in the commercial preparation. Thus, these antibodies are better associated with CD16 receptors on the surface of T-killer cells of the immune system, which leads to generation of antibody-dependent T-cell cytotoxicity and amplification of the immune response.
According to scientists, goats can be an excellent platform for large scale production of anticancer antibodies. Immunoglobulins can be easily allocated from milk and purified and genetically modified goats themselves feel normal and no different from ordinary animals.
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