Date: For immediate release,   23 January 1998
Contact: Dr David Ayares, COO and VP of Research
Telephone: (540) 961-5559
PPL Therapeutics, Inc

PPL ANNOUNCES BIRTH OF CLONED CALF – "MR JEFFERSON"

Result strengthens commercial progress in nuclear transfer

Blacksburg, VAPPL Therapeutics, Inc., is pleased to announce the birth of its first calf produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer – the technique used to create Dolly and Polly.

The healthy 98 lb. Holstein, was produced at PPL’s facility from a fetal fibroblast cell line, and delivered at the Virginia – Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg. He was named "Mr Jefferson" in honor of his birth in the State of Virginia on Presidents’ Day (February 16, 1998).

Dr Julian Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at PPL Inc., said "This is an important step towards using transgenic cattle to produce large quantities of cost effective therapeutics quickly. While this calf is not transgenic, we have shown we can do the difficult part and this success opens the way to more efficient production of proteins using transgenic cattle". The nuclear transfer method used to produce Mr Jefferson was essentially the same as that used to produce Dolly, although in this case adult cells were not used. Nuclear transfer offers a faster, more efficient method of generating transgenic animals, resulting in more cost effective treatments getting to the clinic as fast as possible. In addition, cloning will permit a wide range of precise genetic modification to be made, increasing the range of pharmaceuticals which can be produced in cows, such as human serum albumin and medical nutraceuticals.

The commercial potential of nuclear transfer has already been demonstrated with the birth of Polly and other lambs carrying the gene for blood clotting Factor IX.

PPL is aware that this announcement comes at a time of medial speculation over the origins of Dolly the sheep. PPL is confident that Dolly was produced from an adult mammary cell and recent results from PPL scientists support the earlier conclusions. Comprehensive independent tests are currently underway which the company believes will fully resolve this issue.

Dr Ron James, PPL’s Managing Director, said, "From a commercial point of view, the most important feature of nuclear transfer, is the ability to produce small clones of transgenic animals from modified cells. We have demonstrated we can do this with the birth of Polly, and Mr Jefferson shows we can extend the technique to cattle".

Note to Editors:

  1. PPL is one of the world’s leading companies in the transgenic production of human proteins for therapeutic and nutritional use. The Company’s lead product, alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) is currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

  2. Transgenic production of human proteins involves the introduction of copies of human DNA into the genetic material of another species. The resulting transgenic animals express the human gene product (protein) in the mammary gland allowing its collection and purification during lactation.

  3. PPL is the only company to offer a wide range of animals for transgenic protein production, including sheep, cows, rabbits and pigs. It is also the only company to offer transgenic production facilities both in the USA and Europe.