Singapore First in Asia Pacific Region to Launch Novel Drug for Rare Heart and Lung Disease

Adempas® (riociguat) was recently launched in Singapore as the first and only drug treatment for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) to treat patients with inoperable or residual disease1-4 as well as patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).2 Singapore is the first to launch Adempas® in the Asia Pacific region.

CTEPH and PAH are two types of pulmonary hypertension (PH), a severe, progressive and life-threatening condition of the heart and lungs.5 The development and commercialisation of riociguat is part of the recently announced worldwide strategic collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. (known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada) in the field of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) modulation.

PAH is a rare disease; the most recent evidence from a French registry suggests that the prevalence of PAH is about 15 per million.6 In most cases, PAH has no known cause, though it can sometimes be inherited. CTEPH may evolve after previous episodes of pulmonary embolism, but the development of the condition is not completely understood and the incidence is currently unknown. Up to 80% of patients with CTEPH have previously suffered from PE.6

“Adempas® will be welcomed by many patients with CTEPH and PAH. Both conditions are devastating and debilitating. Patients are often left helpless as their condition progresses and even a walk in the park can be laborious. To have a treatment that achieves meaningful clinical improvements is a much needed step forward,” said Mr Thomas Steffen, Bayer HealthCare Country Head for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

Adempas® is a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator taken orally three times a day.i Until now, there has been no pharmacological treatment that has demonstrated efficacy in CTEPH, presenting a desperate need for approved treatment options.7

i Doses are adjusted by prescribing doctors depending on patient’s tolerability to riociguat during the first two months of treatment, which ensures an optimised dosing scheme for patients.

 

References:

1 Mayer E. Surgical and post-operative treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Eur Respir Rev. 2010;19(115):64-67.

2 Adempas® Singapore Product Insert. Bayer (South East Asia) Pte Ltd:11 Nov.

3 Ghofrani HA, D’Armini AM, Grimminger F, et al. Riociguat for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(4):319-329.

4 Ghofrani HA, Galie N, Grimminger F, et al. Riociguat for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(4):330-340.

5 Bayer HealthCare. Data on file: prevalence of PH in specific country. 2013.

6 Schilz R, Auger W. Chronic thromboembolic disease: underdiagnosis and nonsurgical options. Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension 2007;6(4):182-185.

7 Lang IM. Eur Respir Rev. 2009; 18: 24-28.

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