17 Jan 2007   |   News

Russian scientists develop new method for extracting the heart drug digoxin


Scientists from the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology under the direction of the project manager Galina Mikhailovna have developed a new method for extracting the heart drug digoxin from its plant source Digitalis lanata. The International Science and Technology Centre supported the research.

Digoxin has been in use for treating heart disease for over 200 years and there are a number of patented methods of preparing digoxin from the plant Digitalis lanata with the use of natural enzymes.

However, these patented methods have a number of major shortcomings. The most notable among them says Mikhailovna is low stability of the fermentation process. Secondly, organic solvents are used in the purification, which is a multistage and laborious process.

The Russian researchers have succeeded in overcoming all of the shortcomings, developing new techniques for growing, picking, drying and storing Digitalis lanata. The resulting plant raw material has a high content of highly active enzymes. At the same time the researchers have refined the production process, making it easier to control and guarantee the quality of the final product.

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