Astellas Pharma Inc. (YPH.BE), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vie to Make "High Altitude" Anemia Pill  
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.