Scientists are concentrating on creating herds of dairy rabbits to help treat heart patients with their milk.
A farm in Holland is said to be the first in the commercial milking of rabbits, who have been genetically modified to include a human gene and contain a protein called C1 inhibitor.
AdvertisementThe milk could help prevent the rejection of transplant organs and tissue damage in survivors of strokes, heart attacks and car accidents, and may also treat the hereditary immune disorder angioedema.
"I am really excited. This therapy will transform the lives of sufferers," Times Online quoted Hilary Longhurst, an immunologist at Barts hospital in London, as saying.
Sijmen de Vries, the chief executive of Pharming, the biotech company behind the project, added: "There is a great unmet need for this product. We have the capacity to produce it cheaply in unlimited quantities."
The milk is presently waiting to receive the green signal from European drug regulators and will hit the UK shelves later this year.