AstraZeneca to collaborate with key Singapore research organisations in heart failure

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

AstraZeneca today announced a two year collaboration with leading organisations in Singapore, including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) and National University of Singapore, to support research into new therapies for heart failure. In particular, the collaboration will aim to advance understanding of the pathophysiology of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a complex syndrome, for which there is currently no effective treatment for patients.

Heart failure is the leading cause of cardiovascular hospitalisation worldwide, with a high mortality rate (more than 50% mortality at five years)1. Approximately half of patients with heart failure suffer from HFpEF. The condition occurs when the heart chambers (ventricles) are unable to relax and fill with blood as they normally do and less blood is pumped out to organs and tissues in the body which causes clinical symptoms such as difficulty breathing and reduced physical capacity.

The collaboration will make use of high quality clinical, cardiac imaging and blood data which have been collected through the Singapore Heart Failure Outcomes & Phenotypes (SHOP) study from patients with heart failure representative of the Asian populations in and around Singapore. This information will be used to distinguish between subsets of heart failure patients and identify the molecular pathway leading to HFpEF before establishing biomarkers and eventually potential new treatments. Findings will also be integrated into AstraZeneca’s broader cardiovascular research programme.

Associate Professor Carolyn Lam, Principal Investigator of SHOP and Programme Lead of the Asian neTwork for Translational Research and Cardiovascular Trials (ATTRaCT) said: “While we have therapies to address a variety of acute heart conditions such as heart attacks, patients often survive the acute condition but go on to develop chronic heart failure, which is the leading cause of hospitalisations in the elderly in this region and causes both disability and death. Through this collaboration, we hope to spur the development of more targeted cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment tools, with the aim of improving outcomes for our patients and the healthcare system.”

Marcus Schindler, Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, Innovative Medicines and Early Development, AstraZeneca, said: “We are delighted to be working with A*STAR and NUHCS because these organisations foster world-class scientific research in cardiovascular disease. Our collaboration will enable leading bioscientists, statisticians and clinicians to work closely together to deliver the planned research programme. The work will help us further define patient populations that may benefit from the cardiovascular therapies we are developing.”


About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore’s manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR’s research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. For more information on A*STAR, please visit

About the National University Heart Centre, Singapore

The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) is a key centre for the treatment and management of complex cardiovascular diseases. The NUHCS brings together resources, expertise and capabilities in the areas of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery to better meet the needs of the growing number of patients with heart disease. Core clinical programmes include heart failure, structural heart disease, acute coronary syndrome, vascular medicine and therapy, women’s heart health and heart rhythm. The research arm of NUHCS, the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), investigates new molecular and pathophysiological pathways underlying heart failure, and aims to develop new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools for its prevention and amelioration. For more information about the NUHCS:

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


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1. T.E. Owan, D.O. Hodge, R.M. Herges, S.J. Jacobsen, V. L. Roger, M.M. Redfield. Trends in prevalence and outcome of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. (2006) N. Engl. J Med, 355 251-259.


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