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Genzyme Transgenics receives Japanese patent for the production of therapeutic proteins in milk of transgenic animals.

Genzyme Transgenics Corporation (Framingham, MA; 508-270-2374) announced receipt of Japanese Patent 2874751 from the Japanese Patent Office for the production of transgenic animals secreting desired proteins into milk.

The patent covers the basic DNA sequences which link a milk protein promoter with a gene encoding the protein of interest, as well as the fundamental method used to produce therapeutic proteins in the milk of transgenic animals. In 1996, Genzyme Transgenics Corp. received a similarly broad patent in Europe for the production of proteins in the milk of transgenic animals.

Genzyme Transgenics and Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) formed a joint venture, known as SMI Genzyme (SMIG), for the commercialization of transgenic technology in Asia. As part of the joint venture agreement, SMIG will make a $500,000 milestone payment to Genzyme Transgenics for issuance of the Japanese patent.

"This patent, providing broad protection for transgenic protein production in Japan, provides a strong base for both the company and its partners to commercialize transgenic technology and transgenically produced therapeutic proteins in Asia," said Sandra Nusinoff Lehrman, MD, president and chief executive officer of Genzyme Transgenics.

Other recent Genzyme Transgenics patents include the right to produce antibodies at commercial levels in the milk of transgenic animals and to produce recombinant human antithrombin III in the milk of goats. Recombinant human antithrombin III, a protein that helps to regulate blood clotting, is in Phase III trials in heparin-resistant patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass.

Genzyme Transgenics applies transgenic technology to enable the development and production of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies for medical uses. Primedica Corporation provides preclinical development and testing services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other companies. Genzyme Transgenics is also developing idiotypic vaccines in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute.
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Comment:Genzyme Transgenics receives Japanese patent for the production of therapeutic proteins in milk of transgenic animals.
Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1999
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