AstraZeneca and Singapore's A*STAR ink research pact on complex heart failure syndrome

U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca ($AZN) said it supports research into new therapies for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, a complex syndrome for which there is currently no effective treatment for patients, by working with Singaporean research and clinical communities in a two-year program.

The collaboration includes the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or A*STAR, the National University Heart Centre, Singapore and the National University of Singapore. The aim is to better understand the condition when the heart chambers 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.

Heart failure is the leading cause of cardiovascular hospitalization worldwide and approximately half of patients with heart failure suffer from the condition known as HFpEF.

Singapore has vied with South Korea and Taiwan in marrying clinical data with early-stage research efforts focused eventually on therapeutic solutions as part of a broad biomedical complex that includes Asian manufacturing and distribution headquarters for leading multinational drug companies.

The collaboration on heart failure will include clinical as well as cardiac imaging and blood data collected through the Singapore Heart Failure Outcomes & Phenotypes 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 program.

In November last year, two units under A*STAR, the Experimental Therapeutics Center and Exploit Technologies, signed an agreement AstraZeneca to develop new drugs to treat gram-negative bacterial infections, believed to cause two thirds of all hospital acquired infection deaths.

- here's AstraZeneca's release