Researchers at GenPharm International on Monday presented anew transgenic mouse that expresses a broad range of humanantibodies, thus serving as a potential source of therapeuticmonoclonals that will not be rejected by human patients.

Using the mice, the Mountain View, Calif., company intends todevelop monoclonals on its own and is "setting up relationswith pharmaceutical companies that have antigens for whichthey want antibodies," Dr. Jonathan MacQuitty, president andchief executive, told BioWorld.

An account of the animals' creation was given at the IBCInternational Conference on Antibody Engineering in San Diego.The privately held company spent three years editing the 3million DNA bases that spell out the genetic instructions togenerate the human antibody repertoire.

"Some (bases) don't code, so we isolated the critical parts,hooked them together," and got these human instructions intofertilized mouse eggs by microinjection, MacQuitty said.

Embryos so treated developed into mice that could process theinstructions properly to generate different humanimmunoglobulins, resulting in a diverse set of humanantibodies. Conventional monoclonals use mouse proteins thatcan lead to negative immune reactions by the patient.

GenPharm has applied for patent protection on the mice and onantibodies they produce, MacQuitty said. The company hasalready started immunizing mice for the production of specificantibodies, he said.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.