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  Metros   Mumbai  13 Mar 2019  Professor developing cheap sickle cell medication

Professor developing cheap sickle cell medication

THE ASIAN AGE. | VRUSHALI PURANDARE
Published : Mar 13, 2019, 4:06 am IST
Updated : Mar 13, 2019, 4:06 am IST

Drug re-purposing means the use of an existing drug, or its compounds, to treat an entirely different disease.

Dr Pooja Doshi has successfully used the “re-purpose” approach for a drug called Alizarin, which may help sickle cell anaemia patients. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Dr Pooja Doshi has successfully used the “re-purpose” approach for a drug called Alizarin, which may help sickle cell anaemia patients. (Photo: Pixabay)

Mumbai: An associate professor in the Chemistry department at Savitribai Phule Pune University has taken up research to help develop cheaper alternatives for sickle cell medication for underprivileged people who are battling sickle cell disease.

The professor, who has made sickle cell awareness her life’s mission, has been working on developing  affordable drugs for sickle cell patients for the last six years. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cells disorders.

Dr Pooja Doshi has successfully used the “re-purpose” approach for a drug called Alizarin, which may help sickle cell anaemia patients. Drug re-purposing means the use of an existing drug, or its compounds, to treat an entirely different disease.

Dr Doshi, who herself suffers from sickle cell anaemia, had to fight tough odds — hip necrosis, several days in the ICU — but she completed it. She set up a research lab in the chemistry department.

Alizarin is used as a dye in biological research. “Alizarin is currently being used for different purposes like bone tracing or bone deposits. At the moment, there is only one drug available for sickle cell patients in the market and there is a need to develop a new drug,” Dr Doshi said.

Since Alizarin is already used in clinical research, she said there was negligible toxicity risk. But the team is working on the dosing pattern of the drug in sickle cell patients. “We have identified the drug and the in-vitro study is complete. The drug’s commercial availability will be advantageous,” she said.

Tags: savitribai phule pune university, anaemia