Publication of thesis on human growth hormone extracted from transgenic pigs in a US journal [08-26-2020]

조아제약 생명공학연구소가 발표한 ‘형질전환 돼지유즙에서 분리한 인간성장호르몬의 구조 및 기능적 특성’ 논문 이미지.

Technology transfer under consideration due to proven equivalence with existing drugs, converted to a new natural drug research center afterwards

On the 26th, the Biotechnology Research Institute of Cho-A Pharm (CEO Sung-Hwan Cho and Jo-Bae Cho) announced that last month, they published a paper entitled "Structural and Functional Characteristics of Human Growth Hormone Isolated from Transgenic Porcine Milk" in the online journal PLOS ONE of the U.S. Public Science Library last month.

This paper contains the results of a study that the Biotechnology Research Institute produced transgenic pigs expressing the human growth hormone (hGH) gene and isolated recombinant hGH with a purity of 99% or higher from the milk. In addition, the equivalence with existing somatropin (Genotropin, Pfizer) was proved through confirmation of the structure and biological activity of this recombinant protein.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) was used for the production of transgenic pigs, and a vector for genetic modification was self-developed and produced, and pig beta-casein was used. The above vector obtained patent rights in the United States and Australia in 2013.

This paper described that hGH isolated from transgenic pig milk was compared with commercially available drugs, and that the protein structure and efficacy were similar. The therapeutic efficacy of hGH (somatropin) varies, such as dwarfism (adults and children), idiopathic short stature, and Turner syndrome due to growth hormone deficiency.

In addition, they conducted an efficacy test by subcutaneous injection into mice whose pituitary gland was removed in a non-clinical test, and identified the effect on growth failure due to growth hormone secretion disorder by confirming that the body weight and skeleton grow in proportion to the dose increase. The result of a toxicity test in mice showed that there was no toxicity even at the maximum dose.

Cho-A Pharm said that it is possible to produce various kinds of recombinant proteins by substituting other target protein genes using existing vectors in the established system, so they are considering technology transfer based on the pig beta casein patent. In the future, Cho-A Pharm's Biotechnology Research Center will change its research direction from the cloned pig research project to a new natural product research center.

Cho-A Pharm decided to focus on the research and development of new natural drugs by hiring a new research institute head within the third quarter. Through this, they will develop raw materials for individually recognized health functional foods in the short term, while identifying major ingredients of new natural drugs and developing products that commercialize them in the long term.