AstraZeneca has formed a two-year collaboration with Singapore organizations including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University Heart Center, 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 currently is no effective treatment for patients.
Heart failure is the leading cause of cardiovascular hospitalization worldwide, with a high mortality rate (more than 50% mortality at five years). 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 also will be integrated into AstraZeneca’s broader cardiovascular research program.
Associate professor Carolyn Lam, Principal Investigator of SHOP and program 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 hospitalizations 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.”