The team of scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in the Kansai region of Japan used genome-editing on chicken DNA by introducing genes that produce interferon beta into the precursors of chicken sperm.
Interferon beta is a type of protein used in treatments for a multitude of diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), certain types of cancer and even hepatitis.
The researchers plan to sell the interferon beta to pharmaceutical companies, which will reportedly cut their research and development overheads in half. This in turn, theoretically at least, could soon provide major savings to patients and hospitals around the world once the next generation of anticancer drugs pass medical trials.
The team hopes the breakthrough will eventually drive down the cost of Interferon Beta to approximately 10 percent of its current cost.
Japanese consumers will have to wait, however, as the country has extremely strict regulatory processes in place when it comes to the development of new pharmaceutical drugs.