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Researchers discover novel method for detecting MIRCERA
Date:12/15/2009

Austrian researchers have successfully developed a new electrophoretic method for detecting MIRCERA and other erythropoietins (EPO) in the blood. The technique, using SARCOSYL-PAGE, has specifically enhanced sensitivity for MIRCERA, but does not alter the performance characteristics of SDS-PAGE for detecting other EPOs. Details of this study, funded by a grant from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), appear in the latest issue of Drug Testing and Analysis published by Wiley-Blackwell.

MIRCERA (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), a PEGylated EPO, is a synthetic protein that helps the body produce red blood cells and used to treat anemia caused by kidney disease. The drug is manufactured by Hoffmann-La Roche and only available outside the U.S. due to an infringement upon Amgen's patents on recombinant EPO products and processes. In the past, EPOs have been used off-label as doping agents by athletes to enhance endurance in such sports as cycling, distance running, and rowing. WADA has banned the use of EPOs, such as MIRCERA, in all competitive sports.

"The detection of doping with recombinant EPOs is one of the most challenging topics in anti-doping control," said Dr. Christian Reichel from the Seibersdorf Laboratories at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and lead author of the study. Dr. Reichel and colleagues obtained blood samples from four healthy volunteers as part of the study. Each participant received a single dose of each EPO drug (NeoRecormon (66 IU/kg), Dynepo (35 IU/kg), and MIRCERA (50 @g)). Samples were collected for at least 14 days (NeoRecormon, Dynepo) or up to 42 days post injection in the case of MIRCERA.

Researchers used a two-fold serial dilution of Dynepo (0.09 ng to 0.7 pg), NESP (0.07 ng to 0.5 pg), and MIRCERA (0.4 ng to 3.0 pg to compare the sensitivity of SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) for detecting MIRCERA by Western blotting. The inte
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Contact: Dawn Peters
physicalsciencenews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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