Cardiovascular patients now have a greater chance of surviving heart attacks after Chinese scientists developed a new drug which quickly dissolves blood clots and returns circulation to normal.
Clinical trials have found that more than 80 percent of patients recover if they are injected with 10 milligrams of the drug within six hours of suffering a heart attack, according to Wang Jiaxun, a professor with the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The new drug was one of the achievements made during the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05), the Ministry of Science and Technology announced at a news conference yesterday in Beijing.
Over the past five years, the ministry has mobilized scientists to develop new drugs with independent patents and technology, in order to gradually phase out the imitation of foreign drugs.
The drug (Recombination Staphylokinase for Injection) has been given the green light for mass production by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). Similar drugs in the United States, Japan and Belgium are still undergoing clinical studies, said Wang, adding that cardiovascular disease was one of the world's biggest killers.
Statistics show that China has 30 million heart disease patients, of which 2 million die every year.
Wang said his team will make further studies into the use of the drug as a preventative measure.
Wang Xiaofang, an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology, said scientists had also developed other new drugs for the treatment of cancer and AIDS.
A new anti-cancer drug, developed by Biotech Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, a Sino-Cuban joint venture, has been approved by the SFDA. The drug could improve cancer's curative rate by 30 percent, said Wang.