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US Test For Blood-Doping Agent CERA Developed

Tuesday, 1st December 2009

Anti-Doping Research Inc (which oversees the non-profit Equine Drug Research Institute in California) announced it has developed a test for blood-doping agent CERA, reported bloodhorse.com. ADR chief executive Dr Don Catlin (founder of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory) explained “like the test developed for human competitors, the test for horses successfully detects CERA in plasma after the drug has been administered intravenously”. Catlin declared: “If implemented, this new test can close a major testing loophole & help eliminate the use of one of today’s most powerful doping products in equine sports.” CERA (short for the brand name Mircera) “is one of the newest members of the erythropoietin (EPO) family of drugs referred to as biosimilars or erythrocyte stimulating agents. Such drugs are prohibited in human & equine competition & are said to enhance performance”. CERA was originally developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche to assist patients with kidney diseases & anemia by “boosting red cells in the blood so they deliver more oxygen to muscles”. The drug “lasts longer & requires fewer injections than EPO. Human competitors have recently tested positive for CERA & it is widely believed the drug is being used as a performance-enhancer in equine sports”.

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