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Heparin is a naturally
occurring anticoagulant produced by basophils and mast cells.
Heparin is one of the
oldest drugs currently still in widespread clinical use.
Heparin unit the
quantity of heparin required to keep 1 mL of cat's blood fluid for 24
hours at 0°C; it is equivalent approximately to 0.002 mg of pure heparin.
Heparin acts as an
anticoagulant, preventing the formation of clots and extension of existing
clots within the blood.
Heparin may be derived from porcine
intestinal mucosa or bovine intestinal or lung tissue in an extraction
process. Crude heparin is obtained during the extraction phase of the
intestinal mucosa, involving a proteolytic treatment of the tissue
followed by extraction and complexing with ion pairing reagents. The crude
heparin is subjected to fractional precipitation, purification, and
chemical treatment to obtain injectable heparin.
Heparin is a highly sulfated
glycosaminoglycan widely used as an injectable anticoagulant.
Heparin is used to form an inner
anticoagulant surface on various experimental and medical devices such
as test tubes and renal dialysis machines.
Heparin and low molecular weight
heparin (LMWH) are anticoagulant agents currently used in treatment of
Heparin is used in blood
transfusions to prevent the donor’s blood from coagulating prior to
administration, as well as in animals at risk of thrombosis due to
endotoxemia and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.
- Platelet aggregation inhibitors
and heparins dominate the market, accounting for approximately 60% and
30% of total antithrombotic agent sales respectively. The US market
accounts for almost half of all global sales.
- Market at over $3
billion for Market at over $3 billion for injectable injectable forms
and growing 15% annually forms and growing 15% annually
Estimate of peak
sales for Exanta was $4 billion
The international heparin market is of a substantial
size with worldwide sales exceeding $US3billion.
- Heparin treatment has
moved over the last 20 years through three generations from natural
heparin, to low molecular weight heparins to synthetic heparin.
Heparin is indicated as adjunctive therapy in acute
myocardial infarction to reduce the risk of thromboembolic
complications, especially in high-risk patients such as those with
shock, congestive heart failure, prolonged arrhythmias, previous
myocardial infarction, or history of venous thrombosis or pulmonary
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