4/19/2013 10:53:24 AM
Japan's Astellas Pharma and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline are competing to develop a new kind of medicine that boosts production of red blood cells by making the body think it is at high altitude. Their experimental drugs - both given as pills - could create a major new market in treating anemia and other serious conditions, including circulatory problems and wound damage. They may also attract unscrupulous athletes seeking a handy oral alternative to injections of EPO, or erythropoietin, the blood enhancer that has become a byword for doping in cases involving cyclist Lance Armstrong and others.
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