GM anticoagulant not kosher
the london -based European Medicines Agency (emea) has turned down a proposal to market a drug derived from genetically modified (gm) goats, saying the product hadn't been tested enough. us -based gtc Biotherapeutics has spent almost 15 years breeding gm goats whose milk contains a human anticoagulant called anti-thrombin. The company planned to market the drug under the name ATryn.
emea wanted gtc to test the drug on 12 patients, but the company presented evidence only from five. The agency also said gtc had done too few studies to assess whether patients developed antibodies in response to ATryn. emea, a European Union agency, is responsible for evaluating and supervising new medicines.
ATryn has been designed for people lacking a gene that keeps the blood thin, according to gtc spokesman Tom Newberry. Though blood-thinning drugs such as Warfarin are available, these can raise the risk of bleeding to death during childbirth or surgery. At such times anti-thrombin itself is used, the only present source of which is human blood.
But proponents of gm technology say that farming for drugs, some of which cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per patient, could substantially reduce their prices.
emea's decision could be significant for other gm drugs in the pipeline. For instance, a Dutch biotech company, Pharming, is awaiting us approval for an antibacterial agent produced in the milk of gm cows.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.