As a result of molecular biology and genomics, a number of new companies have been formed that focus on creating drugs from specific genes. As genes are identified and the function of the protein is learned, these companies manufacture the proteins made by specific genes for use in the treatment of human disease. This includes a variety of drugs made through recombinant DNA technology, such as insulin and growth hormone. These new drugs provide patients with a safer therapeutic alternative to other protein sources. Companies working in this sector include Genentech and Amgen. In addition, some companies focus on making protein therapeutics in novel ways. One such company is Genzyme Transgenics, which has genetically altered livestock to produce therapeutic protein in their milk. Other companies focus on producing artificial antibodies that are engineered to look just like normal human antibodies. These so called humanized antibodies, produced by companies such as Protein Design Laboratories, are already on the market for use in treating diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
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