Genetics Engineering Advancing

Genetics Engineering Advancing Genetics Engineering Advancing

The past Iranian year (ended March 19) saw significant progress in the field of genetics in Iran, according to Mahmoud Tavallaei, president of the Iranian Genetics Society.

“Notable progress was made in the field of genetic research and engineering in the past Iranian year, including the authorization of two drugs for marketing and the unveiling of Bt cotton (a genetically modified, insect-resistant cotton variety),” he said, Mehr News Agency reported.

The nation has more than 65 years of experience in associated fields under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.

Unveiling of Iran’s first genetically modified Bt cotton on the sidelines of the First International and Ninth National Biotechnology Congress (May 24-26, 2015) was an important point for the Iranian Genetics Society, said Tavallaei.

“New technology for producing the genetically modified cotton variety will boost harvest by up to 5-7 times more than the current output.”

Two drugs in the field of biotechnology were also unveiled in the past year. “Trastuzumab (trade name Herceptin) for treating breast cancer and Factor VIII for treating patients with hemophilia were authorized for marketing.”

Solaleh Genetics Laboratory also became operational in 2015 under the auspices of the society, where people can have their hemophilia or thalassemia-related tests at considerably lower prices than public laboratories.

“So far there are good capacities in the fields of plant genetics, animal genetics and even human genetics,” said Tavallaei, noting that 60 scientific centers are presently active in various fields across the country. Iran has made impressive progress in biotechnology in the past two decades. Development in pharmaceutical biotechnology has enabled companies to export biotech medicinal drugs including to Europe and sign agreements for sharing knowhow with other countries.