July 28, 2008 |
When three cyclists got caught using the banned drug EPO this month, they were forced to take an abrupt detour from the Tour de France -- and perhaps from their riding careers. Of course, even as some ponder the psychological motivations driving elite athletes, others are left wondering about more basic issues, such as: What is EPO? EPO is the acronym for erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Everybody needs this hormone.
July 7, 1998 |
Medicare has decided to broaden its criteria for payment of Amgen's top drug, the anemia treatment Epogen. The Health Care Financing Administration, which runs Medicare, indicated in March that it would raise the limit on red blood cell production for Epogen users. The agency recently sent a letter to insurers about the change, Amgen said. "It's the first time they agreed to the change in writing," said David Kaye, a spokesman for the Thousand Oaks-based Amgen.
September 5, 2012 |
Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that protects people in Southeast Asia against malaria in much the same fashion that a sickle cell trait protects Africans from the disease. But while the sickle cell protects against the frequently lethal form of the disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum , the newly discovered gene mutation protects against Plasmodium vivax , which is generally thought to be more benign. Malaria causes an estimated 1 million deaths per year worldwide, and at least half the world's population lives in areas at risk for the disease.
December 27, 1994
Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company, said its Neupogen drug has received U. S. Food and Drug Administration approval to be used in the treatment of severe chronic neutropenia, or SCN. SCN is a rare blood disorder involving extremely low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells. Neupogen, which stimulates production of white blood cells, is already used by cancer chemotherapy patients and bone marrow transplant patients.
June 23, 1989
Drug Reimbursements Approved: The federal Health Care Financing Administration has agreed to reimburse kidney dialysis centers when patients use Amgen Inc.'s new Epogen drug, retroactive to June 1. Epogen is the brand name for erythropoietin, a protein developed by the Thousand Oaks biotechnology company that is used to treat chronic anemia by stimulating production of red blood cells. Amgen said the U.S. will reimburse about 80% of a patient's treatment costs, with states covering the balance.
January 7, 1997 |
A drug manufactured by Amgen of Thousand Oaks to aid the production of red blood cells has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to be used prior to surgery. The drug, Procrit, is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc., a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson. Procrit is a genetically engineered version of a natural human hormone, erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 1991 |
For the first time, researchers have diagnosed fetal genetic disorders by taking blood samples from pregnant women, eliminating risk to the fetus. The new techniques rely on the fact that a very small number of fetal blood cells can make their way into a pregnant woman's bloodstream through leaks in the placenta. The cells are very rare in the mother's bloodstream, however.
November 2, 1986 |
A virus may be the cause of Kawasaki syndrome, a mysterious disease that causes life-threatening heart abnormalities in children and is especially prevalent among youngsters of Japanese and Korean descent, according to Harvard Medical School researchers. In studies on the white blood cells of Kawasaki syndrome patients, the researchers have detected a key viral enzyme, called reverse transcriptase, which is normally not present in blood cells.
September 14, 1998
During this period, the structure of the fetus is completed to the extent that major abnormalities--or good health-- can be determined. MONTH FOUR Weeks 15-16: Amniocentesis can be performed to check for birth defects MONTH FIVE Weeks 16-18: Substantial cardiac defects can be determined. The fetus is fully formed, about 5 inches long. Fetal heart beats twice as fast as mother's. Weeks 18-20: Stem cells begin to occupy the fetal bone marrow. Fetus begins to move.