LA BioMed Researcher Says it Took Decades to Find Treatment for Sickle Cell

A researcher at LA BioMed has developed a drug that can treat sickle-cell disease. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the new treatment last month. Doctor Yutaka Nihara says he's spend most of his career working on the drug. 

"For me, it's twenty-five years, but in reality, it's more like forty years, to bring this to FDA approval." 

Sickle-cell disease is a genetic disorder that presents when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the haemoglobin gene from each parent. Health problems can range from attacks of pain (sickle-cell crisis), anemia, swelling in the hands and feet, bacterial infections and strokes.  Juanita Guges says she's begun taking the drug to help treat her sickle cell. 

"I feel like my life was interrupted because of my disease, and now with Ndari, it's less interrupted." 

Dr. Nihara says the devastating disease causes tiny strokes throughout the body. 

"The major problem is that red blood cells block the small blood vessels. So it's causing micro-strokes throughout the body." 

About 100,000 people in the US suffer from sickle-cell. 

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