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US researchers blocked from testing Cuban drug

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1642 (Published 21 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1642
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. Havana

The ongoing US blockade of Cuba is preventing US researchers from studying a drug they say is highly promising and could reduce the need for amputations caused by diabetic foot ulcers.

The drug, human recombinant epidermal growth factor (hrEGF), sold as Heberprot-P, was developed by Cuban researchers at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana. Cuban doctors say it has dramatically improved granulation of intractable diabetic foot ulcers.

Randomised placebo controlled trials of patients with Wagner grade 3-4 diabetic foot ulcers found that injections of hrEGF at 75 µg, three times per week, led to absolute risk …

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