Genavia Therapeutics

Hatching a New Factor Therapy

Here’s a new post I read in the news wires: biotech start-up company Genavia Therapeutics wants to produce a blood clotting protein from chicken eggs.

Just when you think you’ve heard everything.

You may have read in my newsletter PEN about pigs that may be able to express factor through their milk glands. These are called transgenic animals. Another company here in Massachusetts wants to do this with goats.

Well, Genavia will do it with chicken eggs. It plans to use technology developed by Californian company Origen Therapeutics to produce human factor VIII. The technology involves injecting a human gene into chickens and extracting the protein from the whites of their eggs. Omelets, anyone?

Genavia chief operating officer Peter Bradley has said that this “avian transgenic technology” could cut the cost of treatment to as little as 20% of the current price. “We plan to not only take market share from the current players but to actually grow the market,” Bradley said as reported in the Waikato Times.* Now that would be something to crow about.

Stay tuned as we watch developments in this research and production; we hope to provide more information as it becomes available.

*”Start-up gets boost” by ANDREW JANES – Waikato Times, 10/03/2009

Great Book I Just Read
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.
Heartbreaking, gutsy, honest, scary and hopeful, Sheff recounts the harrowing and bleak downward spiral of his “beautiful boy,” his teen son Nic, into a nightmarish world of drugs and addiction. This was a child who seemed to have it all: intelligence, charm, opportunities, and two caring parents. Sheff’s account is a damning testament to the devastating threat of meth to our youth, the lure drugs have to teen boys, the helplessness and anguish of families, and the sliver of hope that some teens can survive addiction. ALL parents of teens and preteens MUST read this book. Teens should read it too; it should be required reading in all grades. All of us can see ourselves on its pages: the denial (“My son wouldn’t…”), the suspicion (“Could he possibly…”) and the blame (“Where did we go wrong?”). Sheff’s skilled storytelling allows all parents to journey with him through hell and back. It’s the best book you will read all year, and the most important. Four stars.

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