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Repoxygen was the tradename for a type of gene therapy to produce erythropoietin (EPO). It was under preclinical development by Oxford Biomedica as a possible treatment for anaemia but was abandoned in 2003.[1]

The project became infamous when it was mentioned during the criminal trial of Thomas Springstein, a former track coach for some German athletes, who was found guilty of giving athletes performance enhancing drugs without their knowledge. An email in which Springstein attempted to obtain Repoxygen was read by a prosecutor, which led to a flurry of media coverage.[2]

The World Anti-Doping Agency banned "gene doping" in 2003[2] and as of 2009 was researching detection methods for substances such as repoxygen.[3]


  1. ^ AdisInsight Erythropoietin gene therapy - Oxford BioMedica Page accessed June 5, 2016
  2. ^ a b Gretchen Reynolds for The New York Times. June 3, 2007. Outlaw DNA
  3. ^ World Anti Doping Agency. (October 2009). Gene Doping. In World Anti-Doping Agency. Retrieved April 11, 2012, from

Additional reading[edit]

  • Patrick Barry. Aug. 2, 2008 Finding the Golden Genes. Science News 174(3):16-21
  • Yoshimi M, Maeyama T, Yamada M, Hamada N, Fukumoto J, Kawaguchi T, Kuwano K, & Nakanishi Y. (2008). Recombinant human erythropoietin reduces epithelial cell apoptosis and attenuates bleomycin-induced pneumonitis in mice. Respirology 13(5). 639-645.
  • Percy MJ. (2008). Familial erythrocytosis arising from a gain-of-function mutation in the HIF2A gene of the oxygen sensing pathway. Ulster Medical Journal 77(2). 86-88.