With chronic heart diseases and cancers among the leading causes of death in the Asia Pacific, German pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer is striving to address the growing medical needs of patients across the region.
As Asia Pacific economies boom in recent years, deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases have significantly increased, aggravated by consumers’ increasingly sedentary lifestyles and rapidly changing eating habits.
Recognizing the urgency of this chronic disease epidemic, Bayer has stepped up investments in research and development in Singapore, its regional hub for the past 50 years.
Strengthening the Heart
Last year, Bayer announced a five-year collaboration with the National Heart Centre Singapore to set up a research center to better understand the underlying causes of cardiovascular diseases, the region’s leading cause of deaths. Though preventive care and early screening are crucial to achieve better patient outcomes, patients typically delay consultation with the doctor until it’s too late.
Cases of heart failure—which affects more than 60 million people worldwide¹—is projected to increase drastically in the next decade.² A worsening heart condition sparks a downward health spiral and repeated hospitalizations, with 56% of patients returning to the hospital within 30 days. Each subsequent hospitalization raises the mortality rate, with one in five patients dying within two years of a worsening heart failure event.³
Among other innovations to lower the death rate from heart diseases, Bayer has introduced a new drug therapy that promotes smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation, and reduces the likelihood of re-hospitalization for heart failure patients.⁴
Focus on Cancer
Tackling the various forms of cancer, Bayer has also developed a precision medicine strategy to identify specific tumor biomarkers and mutations. This will help develop tailormade treatments for patients, reduce side effects, and provide patients a better quality of life.
The company has a precision cancer therapy that inhibits tropomyosin receptor kinase fusion cancer—a tumor that occurs when normally unrelated genes combine and form cancer-causing abnormal proteins. This precision treatment focuses on tumor genomics rather than the site of origin of the tumor.
Another focus area for Bayer is prostate cancer, one of the leading tumors worldwide. In the Asia Pacific, 190,000 cases of this disease are recorded annually with more than 80,000 deaths, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. The cases are rising due to insufficient screening, owing to the lower awareness of the disease in the region.
The Big Leap
Bayer has recently developed a prostate cancer treatment that has produced excellent results, combined with traditional anti-hormonal treatments. This marks a leap forward from conventional chemotherapies that attack both cancerous and healthy tissue and cause considerable suffering.
The company is leading the transformation of healthcare to help people live healthier and longer. With its commitment to patient centricity, innovation, sustainability and science, and promising pipeline of treatments that target prevalent diseases, Bayer is well positioned to enhance the well-being of millions across the region.
1. AHA. What is Heart Failure. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure Last Access: June 2020; Vos T, et al. A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet. 2017; 390: 211–59.
2. Savarese G, et al. Global Public Health Burden of Heart Failure. Cardiac Failure Review. 2017; Apr;3(1):7-1.
3. Butler J, et al. Clinical Course of Patients With Worsening Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;773(8):935-944.
4. Armstrong P, et al. A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Efficacy and Safety of the Oral Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Stimulator: The VICTORIA Trial. JACC Heart Fail. 2018”Feb;6(2):96-104.