Mallinckrodt and NPXe Limited announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to xenon gas for inhalation for use in post-cardiac arrest patients. 

Xenon gas for inhalation is an investigational agent set to undergo a Phase 3 trial in the coming months. Xenon, a noble gas, works by inhibiting the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), which are overactivated in post-cardiac arrest syndrome, through a unique glycine-binding mechanism; this helps moderate the flow of damaging ions through the calcium channel. Treatment with xenon may improve functional outcomes and reduce mortality in cardiac arrest survivors. 

“We look forward to the upcoming start of the Phase 3 trial and learning more about this potential therapeutic option in a population of resuscitated cardiac arrest patients,” said Steven Romano, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Mallinckrodt.

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This article originally appeared on MPR