Leading-edge research in science and medicine:
Bayer Team wins the “Deutscher Zukunftspreis” awarded by the German President
- German Federal President Horst Köhler praises outstanding innovation achievement
- Development of the novel oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban commended
Dec 2nd, 2009 - Berlin / Leverkusen, - The “Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2009” of the German President has been awarded to an R & D team from Bayer: Dr. Frank Misselwitz, Dr. Elisabeth Perzborn and Dr. Dagmar Kubitza received the prize for achievements in technology and innovation from the German Federal President Horst Köhler in Berlin. The Bayer scientists from Wuppertal were honored with the prestigious award for the development of the new anticoagulant drug rivaroxaban (Xarelto®).
“I am delighted about this outstanding recognition of our research team. It demonstrates once again the high significance of research and innovation at Bayer,” said Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. “The ‘Deutscher Zukunftspreis,’ the highest innovation award in Germany, puts the spotlight on science. In doing so, it ensures that the potential of science, technology and medicine become more firmly anchored in the public consciousness,” added Wenning.
The three Bayer-researchers and their teams as well as many other scientists have developed a new molecule for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolism: rivaroxaban. Thromboembolism is a serious disease affecting millions of people every year – often with a fatal outcome. In the western world, venous thromboembolism kills more than twice as many people as breast cancer, prostate cancer, HIV/Aids and road traffic accidents combined.
Rivaroxaban is an anticoagulant with a novel mechanism of action. It selectively targets a pivotal stage in the blood clotting process and inhibits the activated enzyme Factor X,which plays a key role in the development of thrombosis. Rivaroxaban offers patients and doctors major advantages over the current standard therapies. Studies have shown the superior efficacy of rivaroxaban in preventing venous thromboembolism following elective hip and knee replacement surgery in adult patients. In addition, rivaroxaban is administered in tablet form and does not have to be injected like the current standard
therapies. The German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) nominated the rivaroxaban project team for the “Deutscher Zukunftspreis”.
About venous thromboembolism (VTE)
Blood clots can break apart and travel through the bloodstream, blocking blood flow to vital organs. VTE includes DVT, a blood clot in a deep vein (usually in the leg), and PE, a blood clot in the lung. Both are serious, life-threatening – but often preventable – conditions. Patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery are at high risk for VTE because during hip or knee replacement procedures, the large veins of the leg that carry blood back to the heart can be damaged, significantly increasing the risk of developing a clot. In fact, venous blood clots occur in 40-60 percent of patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery who do not receive preventive care. In the five largest EU-member states, approximately 450,000 total hip - and approximately 300,000 total knee replacement surgeries are being conducted annually. In the EU, there are in excess of 1.5 million blood clot events annually and these are responsible for killing some 544,000 people each year.
Rivaroxaban was invented in Bayer’s Wuppertal laboratories in Germany, and is being jointly developed by Bayer HealthCare and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. Rivaroxaban is marketed under the brand name Xarelto, and approvals have been granted for the prevention of VTE in adult patients undergoing elective hip or knee replacement surgery in over 80 countries, including the EU, Australia, Canada, China and Mexico. To date, Xarelto has been launched in more than 50 countries around the world by Bayer Schering Pharma.
The extensive clinical trial program supporting rivaroxaban makes it the most studied oral, direct Factor Xa inhibitor in the world today. More than 65,000 patients are expected to be enrolled into the rivaroxaban clinical development program, which will evaluate the product in the prevention and treatment of a broad range of acute and chronic blood-clotting disorders, including VTE treatment, stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation, secondary prevention of acute coronary syndrome, and VTE prevention in hospitalized, medically ill patients.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer creates value through innovation, growth and high earning power. The Group is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its role as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. Economy, ecology and social responsibility are corporate policy objectives of equal rank. In fiscal 2008, Bayer employed 108,600 people and had sales of EUR 32.9 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.0 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 2.7 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
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- Venous thromboembolism
- A disease process beginning with a blood clot occurring within the venous system, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
- The ability of a drug to produce the desired effect.
- Formation of a clot inside a blood vessel.
- Deep vein thrombosis
- A blood clot in a deep vein, usually resulting from damage to the vein or blood flow slowing down or stopping. Usually DVTs are found in the leg, but can also be in the arm. Distal DVTs are found in deep veins of the calf, and are the most common type of DVT. Proximal DVTs are found in the legs above the calf muscle up to the waist.
- Pulmonary embolism
- A potentially fatal condition caused by a blood clot blocking a vessel in the lung: usually the clot originates from a DVT in the legs. PE can result in permanent lung damage.
- Acute coronary syndrome
- An umbrella term used to cover any group of clinical symptoms compatible with an acute heart attack. The subtypes of acute coronary syndrome include unstable angina (in which the heart muscle is not damaged), and two forms of heart attack in which the heart muscle is damaged. These latter types are named according to the appearance of the electrocardiogram as non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
- Atrial fibrillation
- A heart rhythm disorder where chambers in the upper heart (atria) beat more rapidly than those in the lower section of the heart. Blood is not pumped out of the upper chambers completely during beating, and may pool and form a clot. A stroke results if a section of clot dislodges from the upper chambers and becomes lodged in the brain.
- Factor Xa
- Pivotal component of blood clotting cascade. Stimulates the production of thrombin, the enzyme in the coagulation cascade that promotes the formation of blood clots.