Hypoallergenic genetically modified pigs approved in the United States

Hypoallergenic genetically modified pigs approved in the United States

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.