China Sells Genetically-Modified Mice That Costs $17, 000 Per Pair

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China's Cyagen Biosciences Inc. is a center for laboratory mice in Southern China. The center acts as a maximized space for rodents that sold for as much as $17, 000 a pair.

There is an increase in the demand in China for animals that shows signs of diseases affecting humans as Chinese President Xi Jinping works to turn the country into one of the strongest in biomedical by 2025which turned brought development and discovery in medicine and in genetics. The drive of the president helped fuel the global market of genetically altered mice which is predicted to expand 7.5 percent per year as it reaches $1.59 billion by 2020.

Currently, Cyagen owns 8, 000 mice and 2,500 rats in a specialized facility in a science park on the outskirts of Guangzhou. The company also transformed a clothing factory near Shanghai to supply additional 100,000 custom-bred laboratory animals to universities and pharmaceutical companies that use the mice in everything from basic scientific research to complex drug-development projects.

Lance Han, the chairman and founder of Cyagen, said that at any time, they have 1,000 ongoing projects. One of the most popular and most expensive mouse breeds in the center is based in the Mus musculus. The breed is a domesticated house mouse species that have key genes that show the same qualities to the model diseases including diabetes to prostate cancer.

The lab rodents are essential in China's effort to dominate the multinational biopharmaceutical companies through world-leading scientific innovation. The mice business started as a small startup and it is now attracting investors globally.

The stocks of Innovent Biologics Inc. and Shanghai Junsho Biosciences Co. soared since its initial public offerings in Hong Kong in 2018.

The companies that are developing new medications usually use lab animals for testing. Last July, Cyagen signed a partnership agreement with Taconic Biosciences Inc., an American company, to combine Tatonic's sophisticated gene-editing technology with Cyagen's influence in China. it gave the partnership an edge in the expanding field of supply of the lab animals.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. is known as the largest provider globally of animals used for medical testing. The company bought 75 percent of the shares of a Beijing company amounting to $27 million in 2013 which now employs 650 workers in China. The company operates five facilities in Beijing and Shanghai with a combined space of 250, 000 square feet. The company also announced that they are planning to expand 36 percent more in southern and central China this 2019.

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