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Humanized Minipigs

Oct 6, 2022

With the recently published article in the scientific publication Nature Biomedical Engineering, “A humanized minipig model for the toxicological testing of therapeutic recombinant antibodies”, the new Humanized Minipig is now commercially available, and Scantox will be the first CRO worldwide to offer it.s.

The Göttingen minipig has for decades been amongst the preferred animal species used for pre-clinical toxicology studies. They possess many anatomical, physiological, and pathophysiological similarities to humans, and hence play an important role as a large animal model in translational studies.

To further enhance the benefits of using the Göttingen minipig in studies, the number of genetically altered minipigs has increased in recent years, as advanced genetic techniques simplify the generation of animals with precisely tailored modifications.

The most recent advance is the Humanized Minipig. The development of this special transgenic minipig has been based on work done by one of the leading pharmaceutical companies. The humanized minipigs have been genetically modified to carry a mini-repertoire of human genes for the immunoglobulin heavy chains γ1 and γ4 and the immunoglobulin light chain κ, making them less prone to developing an immune response to human antibodies and thereby open for the possibility to use minipigs as a non-rodent model for studies with large molecules.

Potentially reduced cost
The humanized minipig is the first alternative offered, that may fully or partially substitute high-cost tests previously done only in primates. This may bring down the overall cost of the development phase.

Potentially shorter turnaround times
With the Humanized Minipigs, some preclinical studies will be possible to perform in less time than if performed on primates. This due to the greater availability of the minipigs versus primates.

Scantox first CRO to offer the Humanized Minipigs

On 6 October 2022 Scantox received the first batch of Humanized Minipigs in Lille Skensved, Denmark. This is the first batch of research animals having been officially commercialized. They have been bred by Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs A/S in Dalmose.

Jeanet Løgsted, CEO of Scantox, says, “As one of the world’s leading CRO’s when it comes to studies with minipigs, we are proud and honoured to be the first company in the world to offer this unique capability. With the Humanized Minipig we have made a significant leap forward towards reducing the amount of non-human primates, and I am confident that we will see the Minipigs being used more and more frequently in the preclinical field when applicable” concludes Løgsted.

Contact Scantox for more information about the Humanized Minipigs.