Bayer, National Heart Center Singapore to develop explorative cardiovascular center

By Anh Nguyen   December 22, 2020 | 04:43 pm GMT+7
Bayer and National Heart Center Singapore (NHCS) announced they had inked a five-year agreement to develop a “Center of Excellence for Explorative Cardiovascular Studies.”

The center aims to boost patient-centricity in research and development (R&D) and improve treatment outcomes in cardiovascular disease (CVD) management.

Combining NHCS’s vast experience in managing Asian CVD patients and clinical research with Bayer’s expertise in pharmaceutical R&D, the center will generate and integrate high quality patient data into early clinical research that would allow better understanding of the underlying biology of CVDs. Results could potentially lead to future targeted therapies to address unmet medical needs in defined patient populations. Bayer will contribute S$5.4 million ($4 million) towards the setup of the center.

Bayer and National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) will establish a Center of Excellence for Explorative Cardiovascular Studies.

Bayer and National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) will establish a Center of Excellence for Explorative Cardiovascular Studies.

Asia Pacific accounts for more than half of the world's CVD burden, which is projected to rise with the region’s aging trend. In Singapore alone, 17 people die from CVDs every day, with about one out of three deaths ascribed to heart disease or a stroke. Despite this high unmet need, there is a lack of understanding of the causes and consequences of co-morbidities, disease onset/progression and treatment outcomes in Asian CVD patients. Current R&D into CVD does not take into account the diverse characteristics of Asian CVD patients. Reliable data and standardized approaches in understanding disease patterns including risk profiles among such patients are critical to developing more effective CVD therapies.

"Setting up of the center marks a significant milestone to encourage a more sustainable output of patient-centric cardiovascular research into Asian patient populations, which could in turn impact clinical practice and healthcare priorities in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region," said Prof Terrance Chua, medical director and senior consultant of cardiology at NHCS.

"Our collaboration in this initiative will open up possibilities for other Asian centers to contribute, collaborate, and expand the collective knowledge and expertise on cardiovascular disease management. This will accelerate the development of more effective therapies to better manage and treat Asian CVD patients," said Professor Carolyn Lam, senior consultant of cardiology at NHCS and principal center investigator.

The collaboration will see researchers from NHCS and Bayer working together over the next five years. The center will address three key areas of research: continuous generation of new data and analysis of existing data of CVD patients and healthy individuals, for early research studies; deep understanding of the underlying disease biology in humans to identify, based on mechanism, specific patient groups that can benefit from targeted therapies; and exploring the pharmacological potential of a candidate cardiovascular drug via explorative in-human studies to validate biology and demonstrate efficacy.

Bayer has invested over S$27 million into research projects on Asian prevalent diseases (oncology and CVD) in Singapore.

Bayer has invested over S$27 million into research projects on Asian prevalent diseases (oncology and CVD) in Singapore.

"Singapore’s high-quality research infrastructure, world-class healthcare system and diverse population make it an ideal Asian research hub and digital test bed for experimental clinical pharmacology and early cardiovascular studies," said Philip Larsen, head of Pre-Clinical Research, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division.

"Bayer’s collaboration with National Heart Center Singapore demonstrates our continued commitment to growing our cardiovascular research in Singapore and Asia, to improve our current understanding of cardiovascular diseases and deliver better treatments to patients."

To date, Bayer has invested over S$27 million into research projects on Asian prevalent diseases (oncology and CVD) in Singapore. Over the past four years, Bayer has invested approximately S$6.1 million in understanding the Asian phenotype of heart failure with ASIAN-HF.

Bayer has ensured the Asia Pacific population is well-represented in its R&D activities, with the number of ongoing clinical trials spanning oncology and cardiovascular indications conducted in the Asia Pacific more than doubling from 21 in 2007 to 50 in 2019, 22 of which are conducted in Singapore.

 
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