American Breeders Service, a unit of W.R. Grace & Co., hasreceived a patent for making multiple copies of bovineembryos by the transfer of nuclei from bovine eggs.
The technology will compete in the artificial inseminationmarket for dairy cows. There are 10 million dairy cows in theUnited States, about 75 percent of which are artificiallyinseminated, said Marvin Pace, director of ABS SpecialtyGenetics. ABS will also compete in the cattle market. There are40 million beef cattle, but a far smaller percentage isartificially inseminated, said Pace.
ABS, based in DeForest, Wis., hopes to have the first femaleclones on the market in the mid-1990s.
The patent, No. 4,994,384, covers technology for removing thenucleus from a recipient egg, transferring a donor embryonucleus to the recipient egg, and fusing the donor nucleus tothe recipient egg.
ABS is not engaged in genetic engineering, said Pace. Rather,the company is focusing on producing multiple copies of anembryo from superior breeding stock. Embryos with between32 and 64 cells are divided, the cells are placed in eggs, and theprocess is repeated indefinitely, yielding identical embryos.
Granada BioSciences Inc. of Houston and Alta Genetics Inc. ofCalgary, Alberta, are other companies competing with ABS. --Karen Bernstein
HIGHER REVENUES HELP CETUS CUT LOSS
By Carol Talkington Verser, Ph.D.Special to BioWorld
Cetus Corp. reported a net loss of $12.9 million, or 39 cents ashare, for the third quarter ended March 31, a 19 percentimprovement over its loss of $15.9 million, or 56 cents a share,for the third quarter of last year.
The company's revenues increased 41 percent to $13.8 million,from $9.8 million in the comparable quarter last year. Cetusattributed the increase to improved sales of Proleukininterleukin-2 (IL-2) in Europe and sales of reagents and kitsbased on the company's polymerase chain reaction (PCR)technology.
Cowen & Co. analyst David Stone on Monday said that Cetus'loss was in line with his expectations, but he added that theEmeryville, Calif., company needs much more than incrementalimprovements to become profitable.
Important developments would include Food and DrugAdministration approval of IL-2 and a strategic partnershipthat will reduce overhead and/or infuse cash into Cetus'therapeutic programs, said Stone.
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