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GENPHARM RESEARCHERS TRANSFER HUMAN ANTIBODY GENE TO TRANSGENIC MICE

 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists at GenPharm International have successfully transferred a complete segment of the human heavy chain antibody gene into mice. The mice, which previously had their own antibody genes inactivated ("knocked out"), can now express human antibody subunits and be used to generate completely human monoclonal antibodies. The GenPharm scientists' work was reported this month in the journal Nature Genetics.
 GenPharm's novel technology allows the transfer of very large (megabase) segments of human DNA into mice. This technology was based on techniques developed at GenPharm and also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by GenPharm's scientific advisor, Dr. Rudolph Jaenisch. As human genes related to diseases are frequently very large and difficult to manipulate with conventional methods, GenPharm's technology opens the door to a new understanding of the basis of genetic diseases.
 "This achievement represents the first practical application of GenPharm's novel technology to the development of human therapeutics, said Dr. Ted Choi, lead author of the GenPharm report.
 "It will now be possible to develop human antibodies in mice for the treatment of such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, chronic inflammation and perhaps even cancer," added Dr. Jeanne Loring, GenPharm senior scientist.
 GenPharm International is a leading biotechnology company focused on commercializing transgenic animal technology. GenPharm's U.S. operation, based in Mountain View, is developing completely human monoclonal antibodies from transgenic mice as well as developing and marketing transgenic animal models for drug discovery and drug testing.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: Jonathan J. MacQuitty, chief executive officer of GenPharm International, 415-964-7024/


CO: GenPharm International ST: California IN: MTC SU:

TM-TB -- SJ005 -- 6629 06/08/93 14:32 EDT
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Date:Jun 8, 1993
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