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Bayer HealthCare Awards $2.5 Million to Advance Hemophilia Research and Improve Patient Care
Date:7/14/2009

BOSTON, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare announced today that it awarded 20 individuals from nine countries funding totaling nearly $2.5 million through the Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program (BHAP). As the largest program of its kind in hemophilia, BHAP supports innovative research and educational initiatives around the world. Recipients were selected by a committee of internationally recognized experts in hemophilia treatment and care and were honored last evening during the 2009 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) Congress in Boston, Massachusetts.

"Bayer's continued support of the BHAP program - now in its seventh year - is part of a collaborative academic-industry effort to increase understanding of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders in an effort to improve the lives of patients and their families," said David Lillicrap, M.D., chairman of the BHAP Grants, Review and Awards Committee and professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. "This year's applications were outstanding and, on behalf of the entire review committee, we look forward to the positive impact that these projects' results will have on the global hemophilia community."

BHAP provides funds that support clinical and basic research in bleeding disorders; encourage new physicians to enter the field; and support education for caregivers. Funding priorities include research into inhibitor development and its treatment; the investigation of novel recombinant molecules, new drug delivery methods, and experimental models; studies that assess health outcomes and quality-of-life issues related to hemophilia; and programs that increase the diagnosis of hemophilia in underserved areas.

Inhibitor formation is considered by many patient groups as the most serious complication facing people with hemophilia today. Special Project Award recipient Tom E. Howard, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and director, Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Los Angeles, Calif., will address this issue by investigating why black hemophilia A patients are twice as likely as white patients to develop neutralizing antibodies (inhibitors) against replacement Factor VIII proteins. In another study, Early Career Investigator Award recipient Michael P. Horn, Ph.D., senior scientist, University Hospital of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, will investigate the influence an individual's immune system and specific factors have on the risk of inhibitor development.

"Through our support of research, clinical investigators, fellows in training and others, Bayer is helping to develop the next generation of hemophilia care and treatment professionals while supporting research that may lead to novel therapies," said John Murphy, Ph.D., member of the BHAP Grants, Review and Awards Committee and director, Molecular Biology, Protein Therapeutics, Bayer HealthCare. "These investments in basic research and patient services not only demonstrate our passion for advancing hemophilia treatment, but illustrate our ongoing commitment to the global hemophilia community."

Since 2002, BHAP has distributed more than $17.5 million through 157 research awards. Recipients from 27 countries have helped produce more than 80 abstracts and 60 papers to date.

Following are the 2009 award recipients for each of the BHAP categories:

Special Project Awards: Provide support for a wide range of scientific research in the field of hemophilia.

  • Tom Howard, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, USA
  • Maurizio Margaglione, University of Foggia, Italy
  • Gerry Nicolaes, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Gary Nelsestuen, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
  • Keiji Nogami, Nara Medical University, Japan

Early Career Investigator Awards: Provide salary support and research funds for junior faculty members to undertake mentored basic and/or clinical research projects in the bleeding disorders field.

  • Michael Horn, University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland
  • Sukesh Nair, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
  • Denise Sabatino, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA
  • Simona Siboni, University Of Milan, Italy
  • Janice Staber, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA

Clinical Training Awards: Facilitate the development of specific clinical expertise for applicants who have completed medical training and have an interest in pursuing a career as a hemophilia clinician.

  • Matthew Gorman, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Femke van Herrewegen, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Luca Andrea Lotta, University Of Milan, Italy
  • Danielle Nance, Puget Sound Blood Center, Seattle, USA

Caregiver Awards: Recognize the essential role of caregivers and allied health professionals in the care of patients with hemophilia. The awards are designed to support this role by promoting continuing education.

  • Debra Honig, Rush Hemophilia and Thrombophilia Center, Chicago, USA
  • Kim Huot, National Institute of Public Health, Phnom Penh City, Cambodia
  • Piet de Kleijn, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Geethani Kuruppuarachchi, Medical Research Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Hassan Fathelrahman Mahdi, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan
  • Sanjeev Padankatti, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

About the Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program

The Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program (BHAP) supports basic and clinical research and education in hemophilia. Through grants provided to early career investigators, fellows in training and other hemophilia care professionals, the program seeks to support the next generation of care and treatment options for people with hemophilia worldwide. Parties who wish to apply for the 2010 Bayer Hemophilia Awards should submit a letter of intent by November 30, 2009 to be considered. For complete information on the Program, award categories and submission process, visit the Web site at bayer-hemophilia-awards.com.

About Hemophilia A

Hemophilia A, also known as factor VIII deficiency or classic hemophilia, is largely an inherited bleeding disorder in which one of the proteins needed to form blood clots in the body is missing or reduced. Hemophilia A is the most common type of hemophilia and is characterized by prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, especially into the muscles, joints, or internal organs. Approximately 400,000 people around the world have hemophilia A.

About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals unit of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation. One of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, Bayer HealthCare combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. In the U.S., Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals comprises the following business units: Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Specialty Medicine and Women's Healthcare. The company's aim is to provide products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

Forward-looking statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our annual and interim reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

BHC- USA-2009-0342


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