Bayer and Onyx Launch Educational Program to Raise Awareness About Liver Cancer and Its Risk Factors
WAYNE, N.J. and EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — A new survey of more than 1,000 American adults revealed that general knowledge regarding liver cancer risk factors and treatment options is limited, even among individuals with a connection to the disease. According to the GfK Roper survey, among those aware of the disease approximately 60 percent are unable to name a single symptom associated with liver cancer and more than 40 percent are unaware of treatment options.
To address this lack of knowledge and awareness of liver cancer in the United States, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , in partnership with leading advocacy organizations the American Liver Foundation (ALF) and Vital Options International, today announced the launch of Living with Liver Cancer — a program designed to educate patients and caregivers about liver cancer signs and symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, screening and available treatment options.
The centerpiece of the program is the Living with Liver Cancer Web site (http://www.livingwithlivercancer.com/), which serves as a resource for people seeking more information about liver cancer and liver disease. To expand access and availability of the program to a wider audience, information on the Web site will be translated into several different languages, including Chinese and Spanish. More than 600,000 cases of liver cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year, including 15,000 cases in the United States.(1,2)
“There is a need for greater understanding of liver cancer among those affected by this deadly disease,” said Dr. Arun Sanyal, Division Chair of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. “Many individuals in this country are living with liver disease and, as the survey confirms, do not know they may be at risk for developing liver cancer. Living with Liver Cancer offers information that will help these patients learn their risks, know their symptoms and open a dialogue with their physician sooner, so they can achieve the best possible outcome if they are diagnosed with liver cancer.”
The Living with Liver Cancer program also features regional educational events for those diagnosed with or at risk for the disease. The first event in the United States will take place in San Francisco later this year and is intended to reach individuals affected by liver disease and liver cancer, including newly and previously diagnosed liver cancer patients as well as at-risk populations, such as those infected with the hepatitis B and C virus, individuals co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV, and those with alcohol-related cirrhosis. This interactive forum will help patients, their loved ones and caregivers learn more about the disease and available resources. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions to a medical professional who specializes in treating liver cancer. Please visit the Living with Liver Cancer Web site for more information.
“Although liver cancer poses a serious threat to life, there is hope for increased survival through new treatments and procedures that are the result of intensive research efforts conducted throughout the world,” said Dr. Allan Wolkoff, incoming Board Chair of the American Liver Foundation. “Prevention and early diagnosis remain of paramount importance. That is why the Living with Liver Cancer campaign and Web site are such important tools for anyone affected by liver disease and at risk for liver cancer.”
About Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. More than 600,000 cases of liver cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year (more than 400,000 in China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, 54,000 in the European Union, and 15,000 in the United States) and the incidence is increasing. In 2002, approximately 600,000 people died of liver cancer including approximately 370,000 in China, South Korea and Japan, 57,000 in the European Union, and 13,000 in the United States.(3,4)
Liver cancer often results from certain liver-related illnesses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcohol abuse, fatty liver disease, and exposure to chemicals. Additionally, HIV patients infected with hepatitis C have approximately a five times greater risk of developing liver cancer than patients infected with HIV alone.(5)
Treatment options for liver cancer patients are limited and depend on the stage of the malignant disease, underlying liver function and the patient’s overall condition.(6) Five standard treatments are used to treat liver cancer: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy (e.g., transarterial chemoembolization), percutaneous ethanol injection and targeted therapy.(7)
About the Survey
The GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media survey was conducted in July and August 2008 in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Mexico, China and Japan via telephone interviews using a computer assisted telephone interviewing program. All interviews were among national samples of adults (18+) who were randomly selected to take the survey using a random digit dial (RDD) or equivalent random selection method. Approximately 1,000 interviews were completed in each country.
Completed interviews were weighted to match national norms and to help ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the public. At the 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error for the total sample in each country is, on average, +/- 3 percentage points.
The survey was sponsored by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals comprises the following business units: Women’s Healthcare, Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, which includes Cardiology and Primary Care and Specialty Medicine, which includes Hematology, Oncology and Multiple Sclerosis. The company’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
About Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to improving the lives of people with cancer. The company, in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is developing and marketing Nexavar(R) (sorafenib) tablets, a small molecule drug. For more information about Onyx, visit the company’s website at: http://www.onyx-pharm.com/.
About the American Liver Foundation
The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization promoting liver health and disease prevention. The ALF provides research, education and advocacy for those affected by liver-related diseases, including hepatitis.
Although liver disease is among the ten major causes of death in the United States, there was no national voluntary health agency devoted exclusively to combating liver diseases until 1976, when the ALF was formed by a consortium of doctors from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD).
Since 1979, the Research Awards Program has provided more than US$21 million for research. More than 650 qualified scientists and physicians have pursued careers in liver disease research and treatment as a result of receiving the ALF and AASLD grants early in their careers.
No other voluntary organization in the nation provides a voice for the 30 million Americans with liver disease. The ALF makes a measurable difference in the fight against liver disease by providing financial support for medical research, education for patients and health care professionals, and advocacy and information for patients and their families, and by creating public awareness initiatives about liver wellness and disease prevention.
No matter how you become involved your support of the ALF will make an impact on the 30 million people living with liver disease. Make the commitment to help in your own way today.
To learn more about The American Liver Foundation, Hepatitis and the over 100 other liver diseases, visit us at: http://www.liverfoundation.org/.
About Vital Options International
Vital Options International is a not-for-profit cancer communications organization with a mission to facilitate a global cancer dialogue. Founded in 1983, Vital Options was the first organization for young adults with cancer, before expanding to include people of all ages and cancer types with its innovative programs such as The Group Room(R), a weekly cancer talk radio show.
Using creative multimedia technology, Vital Options enables patients and their loved ones to interact and speak directly with noted oncology medical professionals and researchers in the US and Europe, while supporting the efforts of the advocacy community.
Vital Options is headquartered in Southern California, with a European division based in France at the American Hospital of Paris. For more information or to listen to archived shows, go to http://www.vitaloptions.org/.
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.
This news release also contains “forward-looking statements” of Onyx within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements include without limitation, statements regarding the timing, progress and results of the clinical development, safety, regulatory processes, and commercialization efforts of Nexavar. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated. Reference should be made to Onyx’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading “Risk Factors” and Onyx’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for a more detailed description of such factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward- looking statements that speak only as of the date of this release. Onyx undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events, or circumstances after the date of this release except as required by law.
Nexavar(R) (sorafenib) tablets is a registered trademark of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(1) Ferlay J, et al., GLOBOCAN 2002. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. IARC CancerBase No.5, Version 2.0. IARCPress, Lyon, 2004. Available at: http://www-dep.iarc.fr/. Accessed May 2008.
(2) 2005 Cancer Register System (CRS) annual report, http://crs.cph.ntu.edu.tw/crs_c/annual.html. Accessed May 12, 2008.
(3) Ferlay J, et al., GLOBOCAN 2002. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. IARC CancerBase No.5, Version 2.0. IARCPress, Lyon, 2004. Available at: http://www-dep.iarc.fr/. Accessed May 2008.
(4) 2005 Cancer Register System (CRS) annual report, http://crs.cph.ntu.edu.tw/crs_c/annual.html. Accessed May 12, 2008.
(5) Giordano TP, Kramer JR, Souchek J, Richardson P, El Serag HB. Cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in HIV-infected veterans with and without the hepatitis C virus: a cohort study, 1992-2001. Arch Intern Med 2004;164:2349-2354.
(6) American Cancer Society. What is Liver Cancer? Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_2_1X_What_is_liver_cancer_25.a sp. Accessed April 10, 2007.
(7) Adapted from National Cancer Institute. Adult Primary Liver Cancer. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/adult-primary- liver/patient. Accessed May 8, 2008
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: David Freundel of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals,+1-973-305-5310; or Julie Wood of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-510-597-6505
Web site: http://www.livingwithlivercancer.com/http://www.onyx-pharm.com/http://www.liverfoundation.org/http://www.vitaloptions.org/