Hematech Release: First Prion-Free Cows Reported In Nature Biotechnology  
1/2/2007 11:04:53 AM

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hematech, Inc (a subsidiary of the Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd) and Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd, announced today, in a report published in Nature Biotechnology, the production of healthy prion protein-knockout cows. Prion protein is a natural cellular protein that can become misfolded into infectious particles and cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) and a lethal variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. Healthy prion protein-free calves should be useful in investigating the function of normal cellular prion protein and the nature of prion diseases. Additionally, the cows should be useful as a source of prion protein-free products.