Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center company may be leading something of a shift to swine in medical research. Exemplar Genetics of Sioux Center has genetically engineered miniature pigs for use in research about heart disease.
Company president and C-E-O John Swart says this kind of research has traditionally depended on using mice and rats to test drugs for possible human use.
Swart’s company has just gotten federal approval to sell their miniature pigs to other companies that are conducting tests on new drugs for humans.
Swart says his company hopes to breed other lines of mini-pigs which could help find cures for other diseases like cancer and cystic fibrosis.
Swart says compared to mice, miniature pigs are much closer to humans anatomically, physically and genetically.