|Marcel Woo |||Mar 09, 2016 03:08 AM EST|
Scientists in New Zealand have discovered promising anti-cancer drugs in genetically modified goat milk. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)
In what is considered as another breakthrough in the global search for anti-cancer drugs, scientists in New Zealand have discovered promising anti-cancer drugs in genetically modified goat milk.
The scientists used genetically modified goat milk to create a new biotechnology process to produce mono-clonal antibodies (MCA). MCAs are specifically used as anti-cancer drugs for human.
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The process was developed by the New Zealand government's AgResearch institute, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Scientists at the University of Auckland said MCA helps fight cancer in several ways such as making cancer cells more visible to the immune system, preventing growth signals, delivering radiation and drugs to cancer cells, and stopping new blood cells from forming.
The new biotechnology process is expected to be cheaper and more effective in the fight against cancer. The process also involves low production cost because it produces large amounts of the drug in the goat milk.
"Once a drug comes off patent, anyone can produce it, but the price is ultimately regulated by the cost of production and these drugs are typically very expensive," Professor Peter Shepherd, leader of the University of Auckland team, said in a statement.
Scientists perform genetic modifications by inserting antibody into the DNA of a goat embryo. When the goat develops with the antibody, it will produce the drug as an extra milk protein. Shepherd said the process greatly lowers the cost of the drug for practical purposes.
AgResearch team head Dr Goetz Laible said New Zealand has the resources and the expertise to produce enough goat milk that will make the entire anti-cancer process successful.
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