Friday, Oct 30, 1981
South San Francisco, Calif. -- October 30, 1981 --The Federal Register today reported that the National Institutes of Health had approved large scale production of five recombinant DNA products developed by Genentech, Inc.
Three of these products have potential applications for human health care: human calcitonin, leukocyte A interferon in yeast, and leukocyte D interferon in yeast. The other two, porcine growth hormone and a surface antigen vaccine against foot and mouth disease, were developed for the agricultural industry.
Calcitonin is a hormone produced by the body to aid bone growth and development. Patients suffering from Paget's Disease, a chronic inflammation which causes bones to thicken and soften, have been successfully treated with calcitonin taken from eel or salmon. Some patients, however, develop antibodies to this form of the hormone. Using gene-splicing methods, scientists at Genentech were able to produce human calcitonin as a natural hormone product. The Company will investigate the product's potential as an improved treatment of Paget's Disease and other bone diseases.
Sub-types of leukocyte interferon, leukocyte A and leukocyte D, were developed in a bacterial system by Genentech and are currently being tested by Hoffmann-La Roche in cancer patients. Genentech is developing these interferons in yeast as an alternative means of production.
As announced earlier, Genentech has been working with Monsanto Company in developing natural growth promoting hormones for livestock. Bovine growth hormone was developed to increase meat and milk production in beef and dairy cattle. Genentech is now producing porcine growth hormone as a potential growth supplement for pigs.
The United States Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Genentech, conducted animal tests with the Company's vaccine against foot and mouth disease earlier this year. Genentech's recombinant DNA methods of production allow the vaccine to be developed without the use of live virus. As a result, the vaccine can be given to livestock without risk of infecting the animals with the disease it is meant to prevent. Genentech will provide large quantities of the product for extensive field trials which will be conducted by International Minerals and Chemical Co.
Genentech is a leader in the development of recombinant DNA products for the pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial-chemical markets. The Company's headquarters are located at 460 Point San Bruno Blvd., South San Francisco, California.
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