Artificial Genes

Biotech comes to the drugstore

Skeptics have wondered whether genetically engineered drugs might become the synfuels of the 1980s, crippled by uneconomical costs and uncertain usefulness. Now there is early evidence that the skeptics may be wrong. Genentech, an industry leader, licensed for sale a gene-spliced substance that has just become the first such medicine ever approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Says Dr. John Potts, professor at Harvard Medical School and chief of medical services at Massachusetts General Hospital: "This is really a landmark because it is...

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