The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has approved genetically modified pigs that do not have a component that can cause allergies in humans.
These pigs will be used to produce allergen-free food, and the organs and tissues will be suitable for transplants and other biomedical purposes for people allergic to a certain compound, the alpha-gal sugar found on the animals’ cell surfaces.
“This first-ever approval of an animal biotechnology product for both food and as a potential source for biomedical uses represents a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation,” said the authority’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn.
The pigs licensed to Revivicor Inc. a subsidiary of United Therapeutics are called GalSafe. Revivicor is a subsidiary of PPL Therapeutics, which produced the first cloned mammal: Dolly the sheep in 1996.