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Transgenic drug gets the go-ahead in Europe

June 5, 2006 This article courtesy of Nature News.

Antithrombin from goats helps to stop blood clotting.

A drug made in the milk of genetically engineered goats may soon be used in a hospital near you.

Overturning its previous decision not to approve the drug (see ' Drug from GM animal gets thumbs down'), the European Medicines Agency has approved ATryn for use in the European Union - the first time it has given the go-ahead for a drug from a transgenic animal source. The change in heart came after another detailed review of the data.

GTC Biotherapeutics, a Massachusetts-based company, engineered goats to express a human protein called antithrombin that stops the formation of blood clots. The protein, marketed as ATryn, will be given to antithrombin-deficient patients when they give birth or undergo surgery, where blood-thinning medicines could lead to runaway bleeding. The drug is also undergoing large-scale human trials in the United States.

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