Navigation Links
Researchers create safer alternative to heparin
Date:8/17/2008

Troy, N.Y. Robert Linhardt has spent years stitching together minuscule carbohydrates to build a more pure and safer alternative to the commonly used and controversial blood thinner heparin. At the national conference of the American Chemical Society on August 17, 2008, Linhardt announced that his research team may have accomplished this task by building the first fully synthetic heparin. Their creation is the largest dose of heparin ever created in the lab.

Heparin is used around the globe and is among the most widely used drugs in American hospitals. The main source of this heparin is the intestines of foreign livestock and the risk of contamination from such sources is high, according to Linhardt. And as Linhardt and others around the globe worked toward an alternative, drug manufacturers worked to avoid contamination, but the risks proved too high, Linhardt said. In the spring of 2008, the search for a safer alternative to the common drug had reached a frantic pace after more than 80 people around the world died and hundreds became ill after they were administered what was believed to be contaminated batches of heparin.

Linhardt, who is the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. '59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was on the international team that identified the suspected contaminant in the Chinese heparin, a structurally similar carbohydrate called oversulfated chondroitin sulfate.

"When we found the contamination, it was another sign that the way we currently manufacture heparin is simply unsafe," he said. "Unlike the current heparin that is harvested from possibly disease carrying animals in often very poor conditions, our fully synthetic heparin will be created in a pharmaceutical manufacturing environment from fermentation to packaging. This will give drug manufacturers extreme control over the safety and purity of the product."

Linhardt, together with Jian Liu of the University of North Carolina, discovered the synthetic "recipe" for heparin in 2006. Since that time he has worked to piece together the various molecules and grow a complex carbohydrate that is naturally created in the body in the lab. The carbohydrate backbone for the new heparin comes from the bacteria E. coli. The use of the common and easily grown bacteria makes this version of heparin much easier and faster to produce, according to Linhardt. The team used a process called chemoenzymatic synthesis that used specialized synthetic chemicals and natural enzymes expressed in E. coli to replicate the normal biosynthesis of natural heparin within the cell.

The dose that Linhardt and his team were able to produce with this method was a million times higher than any other alternative created to date. He will now continue to work with his partners to take the milligram dose that they have developed and expand it to kilograms. "Ultimately, drug companies are going to need to produce tons of this drug to keep up with global demand," he said. "Such levels of productions are further down the road. We think that in five years, it is very possible that this drug could reach human clinical trials."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Gorss
gorssj@rpi.edu
518-276-6098
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
6. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
8. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
9. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
10. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
11. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016  Today, the first day of American ... to develop a first of its kind workplace health ... Watson. In the first application of Watson ... IBM ), and Welltok will create a new offering ... cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface solutions, ... 2015. --> --> Net ... compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. Net ... or $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period to ...
(Date:1/25/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... International Airport, New York City , to help ... to enter the United States using passports ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The ... during January 2016. --> pilot testing of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... Digital Forensics Club, takes place February 5-6 at the University’s student center, ... and activities such as workshops and competitions for ample networking, learning and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... JUNCTION, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... care immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood ... cardiac surgery patients around the world, announced that ... will present at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 ... and update on the company.  ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... --> --> Q BioMed ... provide the following update on recent corporate developments. ... months we have significantly increased our cash position through several ... result, we have positioned ourselves to execute on the initial ... that development to continue on schedule. --> ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property development ... property, today provided an update on the Company,s cases ... Texas and announcing that those ... Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden filed ... on only certain claims of two of the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: