Latest Issue of Science News


Synthetic molecule may treat anemia

A hormone that regulates the production of red blood cells now comes in a synthetic version. The lab-made hormone could treat anemia in patients with cancer or kidney failure.

Known as erythropoietin (EPO), the natural protein is made in people's kidneys and is already available as a drug. However, most of this supply is made through genetic engineering techniques. Animal studies indicate that the new chemically manufactured EPO variant, called synthetic erythropoiesis protein (SEP), may work better in patients than the genetically engineered drug does, says Gerd Kochendoerfer of Gryphon Therapeutics in South San Francisco, Calif.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.