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Transposagen Creates a Rat Model of the Human Immune System
Date:8/6/2009

LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. based in Lexington, KY announced today that its scientists and collaborators from the Medical College of Wisconsin have created and characterized the world's first rat model of severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID. The Transposagen rat has a nearly complete lack of the major components of the immune system. Transposagen will be marketing SCID rats to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. "Transposagen is pleased to have characterized the world's first rat model of SCID. We now have intellectual property covering the SCID phenotype in rat and will be offering the SCID rat and other rat models of the immune system in the near future," said Dr. Eric Ostertag, CEO of Transposagen.

SCID can also affect humans, such as the "Bubble Boy," who had to live inside of a sterile environment to reduce the likelihood of contracting a fatal infection. The SCID mouse has been one of the most often used animal models in the history of drug discovery and development research. Transposagen's SCID rats are characterized by a deficiency of T-cells, B-cells and NK-cells, some of the white blood cells necessary to prevent invasive bacteria and viruses from causing serious disease. "This new immune deficiency rat model cannot reject transplanted tissues, even from other species, and will be especially important in cancer and transplantation research," said Dr. Ostertag.

Rat models are superior to mouse models for testing the pharmacodynamics and toxicity of potential therapeutic compounds. This is partially because the number and type of many of the rat's detoxifying enzymes are very similar to those in humans. Rats are also better models than mice for specific disease categ
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SOURCE Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
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