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New treatments for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease – you may have a pig to thank

Genetically engineered pigs, minipigs, and microminipigs are valuable tools for biomedical research, as their lifespan, anatomy, physiology, genetic make-up, and disease mechanisms are more similar to humans than the typically used in drug discovery research. A Comprehensive Review article entitled “Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Models for Biomedical Research,” describing advances in techniques to create and use models and their impact on the development of novel drugs and cell and gene therapies, is published in BioResearch Open Access, a peer-reviewed journal from , , publishers. The article is available on the BioResearch Open Access website.

Gökhan Gün and Wilfried Kues, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (Neustadt, Germany), , and (Turkey), discuss the technologies that have made it possible to develop transgenic pig models of human diseases, such as targeted gene transfer and genome sequencing. The authors review current progress in creating transgenic pig models for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, ophthalmology, and xenotransplantation. These models will enable researchers to study disease processes, identify new drug targets, test novel cell therapies to restore diseased tissues and organs, and assess methods to correct or replace mutated genes.

“This review provides an excellent update of recent progress in the field of pig transgenics for biomedical research,” says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Biomedical Research Gün Gökhan and Kues Wilfried A.. BioResearch Open Access. -Not available-, ahead of print. DOI: 10.1089/biores.2014.0039. Online Ahead of Print: October 24, 2014

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.