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Clinical purposes Repoxygen™ is the tradename for a type of gene therapy that induces controlled release of erythropoietin (EPO) in response to low oxygen concentration in mice. It is has been developed by Oxford Biomedica to treat anaemia. It is still in preclinical development and has not been extensively tested in humans. It is constructed as a viral gene delivery vector carrying the human EPO gene under the control of a so-called "hypoxia control element" (“HRE”). The HRE is claimed to sense low oxygen concentrations and to switch a gene on in response. Repoxygen is designed to be delivered by injection into muscle and therefore to induce syntheses of EPO in the muscle tissue. Normally, EPO is synthesized in the kidneys.
Doping Athletes could consider using Repoxygen as a means of increasing their number of red blood cells. Due to its alleged self-regulating properties it may be impossible to detect Repoxygen currently. Repoxygen is prohibited both in and out of competition under the World Anti-Doping Code 2006 Prohibited List. The German track and field coach Thomas Springstein and Rashid Ramzi are currently suspected to have used Repoxygen.Oxford Biomedica News ArticleTomas Springstein sacked by his club
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