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Application of Cloning to the Production of Biopharmaceuticals to Treat Human and Animal Disease

Eric Overström. Professor, Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine

Health Care: Human & Animals

Nuclear Transfer – Cloning


  • Proven methodology in several species, recent reports of success in Sheep, cattle & pigs
  • Good efficiency, < ~ 98% of offspring are transgenic, demonstrates stable transgene integration & expression
  • Germline transgenesis
  • Less costly due to transfection/selection in vitro


  • Methodology not optimized in domestic animals
  • Strategies for “knockout” & “knockin” constructs

Table 1. Development of caprine embryos reconstructed by nuclear transfer using CFF6 transgenic fetal somatic cells

Nuclear transfer protocols  Metaphase
Oocytes reconstructed  138  92  55
Oocyte lysis (%)  67 (48.5)  38 (41.3)  23 (41.8)
Embryo cleavage (%)  48 (34.8)  41 (44.6)  31 (58.4)
Embryos transferred (%)  37 (34)  38 (41.3)  27 (49.1)
Recipients  15  14  9
Ultrasound positive (%)
30 days 
9 (60)  11 (78.6)  5 (55.5)
40 days  1 (6.7) 1 (7.1) 0
60 days  1 (6.7) 1 (7.1) 0
Term pregnancy (%) 1 (6.7) 1 (7.1) 0
Offspring  1 2 0
% of embryos transferred  2.1 5.2 0
% of embryos reconstructed 0.7 2.2 0


Table 2. rhAT expression in CFF6-1 goat milk from an induced lactation

CFF6-1 induced
Lactation day 
hAT concentration
hAT activity
Day 3   4.7 N/D
Day 5  5.8  20.5
Day 6  5.0  18.3
Day 7  4.7  15.6
Day 8  4.1  14.4
Day 9  3.7  14.6

N/D: not determined


  • Rational application of animal cloning to the production of biopharmaceuticals
  • Benefit to human and animal health
  • Animal welfare is not compromised
  • Advance fundamental understanding of mechanism that regulate normal and abnormal cell growth

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Boston University. Video adapted from the Issues for the Millennium Workshop

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