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New pill to treat heart attacks developed using technology from Soviet war days

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28 April 2015


'To be honest, a pack of this drug should cost as much as a good Mercedes'. Picture: file image of a blood clot, Huffington Post 

A new anti-blood clot pill that could be used as a treatment for heart attacks is being prepared for distribution with plans to sell it for just 500 roubles a pack. Developed by scholars in Novosibirsk, the unique medication has been found to improve circulation and protect the walls of veins as well as dissolve clots.

It is the culmination 30 years of research, dating back to the 1980s when scientists devised a product that could treat open wounds and was used during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Called Trombovazim the new medication has passed all vigorous checks and is being produced in pill form and also as a liquid for injections.

It is currently available in pharmacies in Moscow and Novosibirsk but with a cost of 3,000 roubles a pack (£38) it is not yet profitable. However there are now plans to vastly increase output in order to lower the price to at least 500 roubles (£6) within two years.

Andrey Bekerev, head of the board of the Koltsovo Biotechnopark and co-owner of the Scientific Future Management company, said the medication is unique.

He said: 'Normally such [anti-clot] drugs have lots of adverse effects such as heart attacks, strokes, or bleeding, and hence have high death rate. The doctors were telling us ‘We don’t see how this drug is working, as there are no side effects’. There is an old stereotype that a drug should cure one thing and ruin something else. If there are no side effects, it’s not working.

'But we have spent quite a few train cars full of mice on this drug, it’s not a joke. A huge amount of research, scientific and other resources have been deployed. To be honest, a pack of this drug should cost as much as a good Mercedes'. 

The technology for the medication has been devised by scholars at the Novosibirsk institute for nuclear physics, cytology and genetics. Trombovazim is being marketed as 'the first drug in capsules for improving venous circulation and protection of the walls of veins that can dissolve blood clots and create conditions that prevent the formation of new clots'.

It also claims to be able to reduce inflammation and restore the structure of the vascular wall, with clinical studies having proved its efficiency.

The experts were only able to create it, following other research conducted at the institute over the past 30 to 40 years. Back in 1980s Novosibirsk scientists developed a drug to treat open wounds. The pills were called imozymase and received positive feedback during the war in Afghanistan.

However, the pill had a few cons, including the fact it wasn’t very easy in use and required quite specific conditions to be kept at.

It is still used now but is registered as a veterinary medication, but the science behind it led to the development of trombovazim in the mid-2000s.

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