Raising sea snails for cancer vaccines
Frank Oakes is betting his future on a snail. Thousands are suctioned onto the walls of 19 outdoor aquaculture tanks behind his office in Port Hueneme, Calif., south of Santa Barbara. Shaped like oblong cinnamon rolls, the black, tan, and striped snails may live up to 60 years, although their population may be dwindling. “This fragile California resource could be the basis of multiple life-saving drugs,” said Oakes, who is the CEO of Stellar Biotechnologies Inc., a biomedical company. Giant keyhole limpets contain a valuable protein called KLH, or keyhole limpet hemocyanin, which is being tested in more than 20 different types of cancer vaccines and on autoimmune diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Provided by QUEST