UMBI licenses HIV rat to Harlan

BALTIMORE, Md.--The patent for the first HIV-1 transgenic rat model has been licensed to Harlan Sprague Dawley, Inc. (Harlan) by the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

Scientists at the UMBI's Institute of Human Virology developed the rat model to benefit researchers who study the pathogenesis and the development of new drugs to treat AIDS and related diseases.

Harlan, with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and multiple sites in the U.S. as well as several European countries and Israel, provides research-related products to domestic and international research programs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, and government agencies in over 30 countries.

"Because Harlan is one of the largest producers of rodents commonly used in biomedical research, as well as producers of specific animal models," says Joseph L. Bryant, Director of UMBI's Animal Core Facility, "this model will soon be commonly available to researchers who are interested in studying the effects of HIV-1 gene expression in different organ systems of the body." Bryant adds that his laboratory is producing other HIV transgenic rats, and has recently started on developing embryonic stem cells from rats.

"We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the UMBI in the further development and distribution of this unique animal model to the worldwide research community. We look forward to the major contributions that it will provide to research related to combating the HIV virus," stated Jack R. McGinley, Executive Vice President, Harlan. "We anticipate having animals available for distribution within the next few months." The company also has an option to license subsequent strains of the HIV rat from UMBI.

Bryant says the HIV rat model is genetically engineered to contain the entire genome of the AIDS virus HIV-1 except for two genes that make the virus non-infectious. The rats cannot transmit

Contact: Steve Berberich
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute

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