Bayer, POPCOM push for fact promotion on Family Planning on World Contraception Day to empower women versus Reproductive Health myths, misconception


October 3, 2022

Bayer Philippines Inc. and POPCOM have pushed on World Contraception Day for a more aggressive facts promotion on Family planning even as approximately 218 million women from low-to-middle-income countries, including Philippines, have an unmet need for modern contraception amid myths.


Bayer and the the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) are advocating for women’s health and their reproductive choice to combat misinformation as captured by the local theme: “Usap Tayo sa Family Planning.”

Myths and misconceptions on Family Planning and Reproductive Health proliferate– clouding perceptions and access in making informed choices.

While contraceptives are readily available, this does not mean they are accessible to everyone. Barriers to access range from lack of awareness and affordability, to limitations based on age or marital status.

For World Contraception Day 2022, POPCOM also shared that the implementation of Republic Act 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law which has helped expand the total number of those availing family planning services by 30%.

Currently, there are about 8.1 million Filipinos enjoying the benefits of having their families planned.

According to latest data from health centers and health facilities nationwide, pills remain to be the most preferred family planning method by some 3.2 million Filipino women in 2020.

Pills had an additional 1 million adherents from 2016 figures. Implants also had a significant increase in acceptors: from 103,000 to 474,000 in the span of those years. Same was true for injectables: from 959,000 to 1.6 million.

For males, within that period, about 400,000 resorted to condoms—up from 270,000.

Despite the uptick in access, concerns about contraceptives still persist with regard to their side effects, myths, stigma and opposition from others.

Some of the common ones are that “people who use contraceptives end up with health problems,” or that “contraceptives are dangerous to women’s health,” “contraceptives can harm your womb,” or even endanger future ability to become pregnant.

The World Contraception Day (WCD) takes place yearly on September 26 to raise awareness among women of reproductive age regarding sexual and reproductive health.

Providing women access to scientifically accurate and non-judgmental information about a range of contraceptive methods, their pros and cons, and related sexual health topics encourages them to take control over their reproductive and sexual lives.

Important, this helps them make informed choices.

To help dispel these myths, Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director and Country Division Head for Pharmaceuticals Angel-Michael Evangelista shared: “Bayer in the Philippines continues to advocate for women’s health and their ability to make an informed choice through our ongoing online and offline programs.”

“Our existing Ask Mara chatbot on Facebook helps women get in touch with teleconsultation services through our tie-up with telehealth provider HealthNow to provide vouchers for consultation with OB-GYNs, as well as help locate nearby drug stores. We also partner with agencies like POPCOM to achieve the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted.”

On top of that, Evangelista adds: “Bayer Philippines is extending awareness on healthcare, contraception and family planning to our smallholder farmers through the Bayer Kubo, our flagship social engagement program which will run in Cabanbanan, Pangasinan and Dolores, Quezon this year.”

“POPCOM sees more Filipinos relying on the benefits of modern contraception methods. This is evidenced by the country’s estimated total fertility rate consistently declining in the past two decades, and in 2021 was recorded at 1.8 children per family or couple,” explained the agency’s Officer In Charge-Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon.

“Encouraging a nation where every pregnancy is planned, POPCOM places a premium on correct information, proper education and open communication in actively promoting the benefits of family planning and contraceptives,” asserted the POPCOM official.

“To achieve such, we work closely with the national and local governments, as well as partners such as Bayer Philippines in ensuring all bases are covered, and all possible knowledge platforms and pathways are harnessed and maximized—despite limitations presented by the pandemic.”

Citing the latest RPRH Law Annual Report, Tacardon pointed out that efforts in delivering accurate and the most current information on contraceptives to more Filipinos will particularly focus on further increasing demand for modern contraception methods, which stood at 58.1 percent in 2021.

Since its global launch in 2007, there are over a dozen international partners supporting WCD with Bayer being there from the early start.

The partners are dedicated to increasing access to and availability of family planning services and education. They have united to create and enhance awareness, underline the importance of empowering young people to learn about sexual and reproductive health, and to talk boldly about it with their healthcare providers and partners. Together, they call on governments and decision-makers to encourage them in promoting the subject at the political level.

About Your Life: The global campaign

“Your Life” is directed at young people and pursues the vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted. The annual highlight of the ongoing activities is World Contraception Day on September 26. To support the campaign and its goals, a broad range of international partners form the World Contraception Day Coalition, which is sponsored by Bayer.


The campaign has a dedicated website, www.your-life.com, where young people can get accurate and unbiased information on contraception. The content is presented in a straightforward, interactive and relatable way, without judgment or lectures. It seeks to address the needs and questions of a young audience, counter common myths and provide guidance and preparation for a well-informed discussion on contraceptive methods with a healthcare professional.

The online presence is complemented by the YourLife social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter as well as the YOURLA chatbot.

About Women’s Healthcare at Bayer

Bayer is a recognized leader in the area of women’s healthcare, with a long-standing commitment to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments.

Bayer offers a wide range of effective short- and long-acting birth control methods as well as therapies for menopause management and gynecological diseases. Bayer is also focusing on innovative options to address the unmet medical needs of women worldwide. Today, Bayer’s research and development efforts focus on finding new treatment options for menopause as well as gynecological diseases and includes several compounds in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.

Together, these projects reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to alter the way that gynecological diseases are treated. Additionally, Bayer intends to provide 100 million women in low-and-middle income countries by 2030 with access to family planning by funding multi-stakeholder aid programs and by ensuring the supply of affordable modern contraceptives. This is part of the comprehensive sustainability measures and commitments from 2020 onwards and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

About the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM)

It is the country’s lead organization in population management for well-planned and empowered Filipino families and communities. POPCOM aims to empower Filipino individuals, families and communities by enabling them to achieve their fertility intentions, prevent adolescent pregnancies, and consciously consider population factors in sustainable development initiatives.

Agri science firm Bayer Philippines embarks on program to lure youngsters to farming, plant breeding as Ph farmer population dwindles

September 19, 2022

In an effort to help raise more agriculture entrepreneurs, Agriculture science firm Bayer Philippines Inc. has embarked on a program to lure youngsters to hands-on farming, plant breeding, and crop protection even as farmer-population in the Philippines has been declining.

Bayer has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) under with selected students are sent to Bayer’s Agronomic Testing Center Southeast Asia (ATC-SEA) in Laguna.

Another training site for the “Science Immersion Program” (SIP) is the Plant Breeding Station in General Santos City.

“As a partner of the PSHS we hope to help inspire our young scientists to take a deeper interest in agriculture, and to support science education in the country through hands-on activities in our research sites in Laguna and General Santos City,” said Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista.

“Bayer aspires for a world where there is ‘Health for all, Hunger for none’ – and science will help us get there. It’s in our purpose of ‘Science for a Better Life’ and it is integral to our Pharmaceutical, Consumer Health and CropScience divisions.”

At the Bayer Seeds Research and Development Station in General Santos City, students will learn about plant breeding as both a business and science.

At the Bayer ATC-SEA site, PSHS students will be exposed to agriculture operations that contribute to skills in agriculture entrepreneurship. These include seedling production, land preparation activities, crop maintenance, and safe use of crop protection products.


Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista conveying support for science education through the PSHS Science Immersion Program. (Photo credit: John Carlo Quito)

As agribusinesses require technical know-how, they will gain basic understanding of agriculture and crop protection research and gain hands-on experience in conducting laboratory and field bio-efficacy trials from insect rearing, field assessments and analysis.

They are expected to gain exposure to the end-to-end breeding process of rice and corn in an industry setting. This includes development of breeding populations, molecular breeding, testing and evaluation of lines and hybrids from early pipeline to pre-commercial stage, as well as exposure to digitalization, mechanization, and automation of breeding operations.

They will be familiarized with the activities of the Plant Pathology Laboratory, Seed Laboratory, and field and screenhouse nurseries.

They will participate in actual inoculum propagation, inoculation, rice emasculation and hand pollination.

“The Philippine Science High School System is committed to provide Pisay students relevant learning opportunities to advance their scientific aptitude and interpersonal skills.Today we earned another collaborator to champion the worthy cause of science education. I am thankful to Bayer Philippines for accommodating the PSHS System to the Science Immersion Program (SIP) for Grades 10-12 students,” said Lilia Habacon, PSHS director.

Bayer scientists from India and the Philippines had earlier conducted a plant breeding and biotechnology webinar across all PSHS campuses to share how Bayer DEKALB corn seeds from the laboratory to the farm have helped Filipino farmers increase their yield and improve their livelihood.

From left to right: PSHS Deputy Executive Director Rod Allan De Lara, PSHS Executive Director Lilia Habacon, Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista, and Bayer Philippines Communications Manager Nadira Abubakar. (Photo Credit: John Carlo Quito)

Bayer Philippines empowers 100 women as Community Champion Farmers along with training 1,500 women on Family Planning in its Bayer Kubo, Manaoag, Pangasinan

August 11, 2022


The pandemic lockdowns have disrupted farming communities and stretched out rural healthcare networks with farmers still struggling to recover and boost productivity. To support the agricultural community, global life sciences firm Bayer Philippines Inc. is launching a pilot Bayer Kubo in Manaoag, Pangasinan with the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) to run capability and capacity building programs combining health and agriculture by tackling family planning, self-care and nutrition, as well as agri-oriented financial management and best practices.

The program will be piloted in Brgy. Cabanbanan in Manaoag, supporting the community of smallholder farmers surrounding the Bayer Learning Center located in the area.

The Bayer Learning Center is a venue for farmers in the community where they can learn best practices and see the latest solutions available for vegetable production. With the Bayer Kubo program in place, women farmers and farmers’ wives can get expert-led training on family planning, farmer self-care, and basic farm financial management.

“This Bayer Kubo is where Bayer in the Philippines is bringing together our three divisions: Consumer Health, Pharmaceuticals, and Crop Science under one program to support our farmers,” says Angel Michael Evangelista, Managing Director and Country Division Head – Pharmaceuticals for Bayer Philippines Inc.

“With the growing role of women in Philippine agriculture, who face competing demands to care for their families while ensuring they contribute to farm work and productivity, we aim to support women farmers and farmers’ wives’ through health, wellness, and sustainable agricultural practices –contributing to Bayer’s vision of ‘Health for all, Hunger for none'”

Through the pilot program, Bayer Philippines and ASSIST aim to empower over 100 women farmers as Community Champions that will ensure continued knowledge sharing and capacity building to train additional 1,500 community members on the best practices of family planning, farmer self-care, and

Smallholder Farmer Support

“As ASSIST moves forward in this partnership with Bayer Philippines, we will remain committed increating more capacity-building opportunities that fit the needs of the women farming communities in Manaoag, Pangasinan. We acknowledge that other farming communities would greatly benefit from our intervention. As such, we hope to replicate the Bayer Kubo program in other farming communities and locations in the Philippines,” said Francis Macatulad, executive director of ASSIST.

The Bayer Kubo is Bayer Philippines’ local corporate social engagement (CSE) program that started out by encouraging and supporting communities to grow their own produce while encouraging an integrated, holistic approach to growing nutritional food using responsible agricultural practices.

To date, Bayer Philippines has established three Bayer Kubo across different communities: in Ususan, Taguig; in Calauan, Laguna; and in Payatas, Quezon City in partnership with NGOs such as Rise Against Hunger and AGREA.

About ASSIST

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is an international non-government organization focused on capacity building. It seeks to promote sustainable practices to address social problems in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa.

ASSIST takes pride in its process-oriented approach to capacity building towards social improvement and sustainable transformation. Its goal is to empower its target groups to make them resilient to the social, economic and environmental challenges.

Presently based in Makati City, Philippines, ASSIST also has operations in India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Kenya.

Through its Partner to Progress philosophy, it has successfully implemented such projects in collaboration with the European Union, United Nation Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), USAID, International Finance Corporation (IFC), GIZ, and DEG/KFW amongst other organizations.

Bayer Philippines launches Bayer Kubo Learning Center in Manaoag, Pangasinan (L-R) Iiinas Ivan Lao, Country Commercial Lead, Bayer Crop Science Philippines; Angel Michael Evangelista, Managing Director and Country Division Head – Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Philippines, Inc.; Francis Macatulad, Executive Director, ASSIST; Franz Raña, Social Actions Manager, ASSIST. (Photo: Nadira Abubakar)

Bayer opens doors for students in Philippine Science High School Science Immersion Program

June 28, 2022

Bayer Philippines Inc., a global life science company, is now a partner of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) for their Science Immersion Program (SIP) after signing a Memorandum of Agreement last Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Bayer is opening the doors to its agricultural research and development centers in the Philippines as immersion sites for selected students to learn and gain hands-on experience on the science behind crop protection and plant breeding.


“The Philippine Science High School System is committed to provide Pisay students relevant learning opportunities to advance their scientific aptitude and interpersonal skills.Today we earned another collaborator to champion the worthy cause of science education. I am thankful to Bayer Philippines for accommodating the PSHS System to the Science Immersion Program (SIP) for Grades 10-12 students,” said Lilia Habacon, PSHS director.

The Science Immersion Program is a required course where PSHS student-interns can learn science, engineering and research laboratory skills and concepts; foster interaction with researchers, scientists, and technical personnel; be exposed to basic science or engineering principles applied in facility operations; identify possible research problems; and establish linkages with institutions for collaboration.

“Bayer aspires for a world where there is ‘Health for all, Hunger for none’ – and science will help us get there. It’s in our purpose of ‘Science for a Better Life’ and it is integral to our Pharmaceutical, Consumer Health and CropScience divisions. As a partner of the Philippine Science High School for their Science Immersion Program, we hope to help inspire our young scientists to take a deeper interest in agriculture, and to support science education in the country through hands-on activities in our research sites in Laguna and General Santos City,” said Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista.


From left to right: PSHS Deputy Executive Director Rod Allan De Lara, PSHS Executive Director Lilia Habacon, Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista, and Bayer Philippines Communications Manager Nadira Abubakar. (Photo Credit: John Carlo Quito)

Selected students coming from different PSHS campuses across the country are slated to start their immersion with Bayer around August this year at the Agronomic Testing Center Southeast Asia (ATC-SEA) in Laguna, as well as Plant Breeding Station in General Santos City.

At the Bayer ATC-SEA site, PSHS students will gain basic understanding of agriculture and crop protection research and gain hands-on experience in conducting laboratory and field bio-efficacy trials from insect rearing, field assessments and analysis.

They will also be exposed to agriculture operations like seedling production, land preparation activities, crop maintenance, and safe use of crop protection products.
At the Bayer Seeds R&D Station in General Santos City, students will learn about plant breeding as both a science and a business.

They will be familiarized with the activities of the Plant Pathology Lab, Seed Lab, and field and screenhouse nurseries.

They will participate in actual inoculum propagation, inoculation, rice emasculation and hand pollination. They are expected to gain exposure to the end-to-end breeding process of rice and corn in an industry setting, which includes development of breeding populations, molecular breeding, testing and evaluation of lines and hybrids from early pipeline to pre-commercial stage, as well as exposure to digitalization, mechanization, and automation of breeding operations.

Prior to the Science Immersion Prgram, Bayer scientists from India and the Philippines also conducted a plant breeding and biotechnology webinar across all PSHS campuses to share how Bayer DEKALB corn seeds from the lab to the farm have helped Filipino farmers increase theiryield and improve their livelihood.
Aside from Bayer Philippines, other partners in the PSHS Science Immersion Program include private companies, government institutions and universities. For more information about Bayer in the Philippines and its solutions for agriculture, check out the Bayer CropScience Philippines website at http://www.cropscience.bayer.com.ph or visit their Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/BayerCropSciencePH/ or subscribe to the Bayer AgricademyTV
channel on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/c/BayerAgricademyTV.


Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista conveying support for science education through the PSHS Science Immersion Program. (Photo credit: John Carlo Quito)

Bayer Philippines pilots Mama & Baby Care project in Tuy, Batangas, to train at least 100 BHWs on maternity and infant care

June 7, 2022

BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES — As the country adjusts to the new normal, a study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) revealed that the pandemic disrupted family planning and maternal and newborn health services in the Philippines and globally, straining already stretched out government healthcare workers.

Barangay Health Workers at Brgy. San Jose, Tuy, Batangas receive training for the “Mama & Baby Care” project of Bayer Philippines and Health Futures Foundation Inc. (HFI)

In its commitment to championing women’s health and safety, Bayer Philippines Inc. launched the “Mama & Baby Care: The First 1,000 Days” project, an initiative that formally trains at least 100 Barangay Health Workers (BHW) with the fundamental modules needed for maternity and infant care.

The First 1,000 Days

Supported by Bayer, a global life sciences company, Bayer Philippines Managing Director Angel-Michael Evangelista remarks Bayer is committed to helping BHWs care for mothers and newborn children.

“At Bayer we support ‘health for all, hunger for none’, and with this project, healthcare workers are equipped with the knowledge to support both mother and child during that critical stage of development and help set the foundation for good health early on in life,” said Evangelista.

The training modules, developed by HFI, give prominence to practical information on properly and safely caring for pregnant women and their babies during the first 1,000 days from conception.

From the formational pregnancy period when the fetus grows and develops inside the womb for 270 days, until the infant’s first 730 days after birth, the program highlights the support and care health workers can provide.

“Mama & Baby Care” also puts special emphasis on training healthcare workers in the local barangays to offer ready support for mothers closer to home, lessening the need for pregnant women to spend hours in transit just to make it to their regular check-ups in nearby cities.

By empowering BHWs with trainings on maternal and infant care, local governments provide access to safe motherhood in areas where such services are not available.

“Working with Bayer Philippines, the program fills in the need for maternal and infant healthcare in the local setting, hence the strategic move to focus on barangay health workers. Currently, there are very few programs targeted specifically on the first 1,000 days from the baby’s conception, which our two teams saw as a crucial gap that needed to be addressed. We hope to champion healthy infancy and toddlerhood by starting from the formative days of safe motherhood,” shares HFI Chair Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan.

Bayer Philippines, Health Future Foundation Inc. and representatives from the local government of Tuy at the community launch event of Mama & Baby Care at Tuy, Batangas.
In photo: (L-R back row: Incoming ABC President Hon. Kap. Ramil Sanchez, Tuy BHW President Nancy Delfinado, Tuy RHU – Public Health Nurse Alma Capricho, and Current ABC President Hon. Kap. Adrian Perez) (L-R front row: Tuy MHO Dra. Pilar, Bayer PH
Communications Manager Nadira Abubakar, HFI Chair Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, MD MPH, and Executive Assistant Domingo Condicion to represent Batangas Mayor Randy Afable)

Tuy Municipal Health Officer Dr. Pilar Adrias, also comments, “Pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood are no doubt challenging, but with an efficient and capable support system around them, we hope to lighten the burden of new mothers across the Philippines.”

Already before COVID-19, the Philippines saw about 2,600 women dying every year due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth. The maternal mortality cases in 2020 can increase to up to 670 additional deaths from the 2019 level (26 % increase).

At a community event on May 30, 2022, “Mama & Baby Care” stakeholders officially marked the beginning of the project.

The event was attended by representatives from Bayer Philippines, partner organization Health Futures Foundation Inc. (HFI) Chair Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, and spokespersons from the local municipality of Tuy and its community of healthcare workers– Tuy Municipality Health Officer Dr. Pilar Adrias, Tuy BHW President Nancy C. Delfinado, and Tuy ABC President Adrian Perez.
References:

UNFPA Philippines | Significant rise in maternal deaths and unintended pregnancies feared because of COVID-19, UNFPA and UPPI study shows – https://philippines.unfpa.org/en/news/significant-rise-maternal-
deaths-and-unintended-pregnancies-feared-because-covid-19-unfpa-and

Bayer’s Pharma Business in Asia Pacific Drives Growth in 2021 with More Innovative Medicines to be Launched

April 21, 2022

–Pharmaceuticals division’s sales in the Asia/Pacific region grew 4.8%* to more than €5.8 billion in 2021
–This marked the tenth consecutive year of growth for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division in the region
–Four upcoming major launches of innovative treatments Finerenone, Vericiguat, Larotrectinib and Darolutamide underscore Bayer’s commitment to reduce burden of cardiovascular diseases and cancer in the APAC region

Singapore, April 21, 2022 — Bayer announced today that 2021 was another record year for its Pharmaceuticals Division in the Asia/Pacific region, with robust growth of 4.8%* delivering sales of more than €5.8 billion. Business in the region contributed to almost one-third of Bayer’s pharmaceuticals global sales.2

Despite lingering COVID-19 challenges, sales of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division sales outside of China and Japan grew 1-2% in developed markets such as Australia/New Zealand, Korea, and Taiwan. Key growth drivers also came from South Asia with India delivering a strong 11%3 growth and Pakistan at 2%3, and the ASEAN cluster achieving 9%3 average growth across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Newly appointed Head of Commercial Operations for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division in Asia/Pacific, Ying Chen, said: “2021 has been a successful year for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division as we increased our efforts to focus on what matters most – delivering both innovative and essential medicines to patients in Asia/Pacific, despite the challenges from the pandemic. Our consistent strong growth in the region is a testament to our innovation-driven portfolio that delivers value to patients in areas of high unmet medical needs.”

Outside of China and Japan, sales of Xarelto® in Asia/Pacific grew significantly by 12%3 in 2021 over the previous year. Similarly, there was a 10%3 increase in Eylea® sales and it represents one of the most successful product launches in Asia/Pacific to date.

Xarelto remains the most broadly studied novel oral anticoagulant with 100 million patients treated in 130 countries since 2008. More than 47 million vials/pre-filled syringes of Eylea have been sold globally, generating 6.8 million patient-years of experience in 100 countries.4

Bayer plans to grow its global pharmaceuticals sales by 3-4% in 20222 on a currency and portfolio adjusted basis. The market outlook for the Asia/Pacific region remains positive, as IQVIA projects an average growth rate of 4-5% in the pharmaceutical markets across the region from 2021 to 2025.

2022 will be a breakthrough year for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division in Asia/Pacific with four upcoming launches of innovative products in the fields of cardiovascular disease and oncology.

Chronic and Cardiovascular Diseases Leading Causes of Death
Every year across the globe, 15 million people die before age 70 from chronic diseases which include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and obesity. Couple that with the fact that by 2050, one in four people in Asia/Pacific will be over 60 years old. 

Along with ageing, the greatest cumulative impact on health comes from the striking rise in metabolic risks – namely high Body Mass Index (BMI), high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – accounting for nearly 20% of total health loss worldwide in 2019. Diabetes prevalence is increasing in Asia/Pacific, with over 70 million people living with diabetes in India alone. One in 10 adults worldwide is living with diabetes and out of those, almost half are undiagnosed.

Bayer’s Finerenone, a non-steroidal, selective mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist has demonstrated positive kidney and cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Up to 40% of people living with diabetes have CKD, which increases the risk of renal failure/dialysis and CV outcomes.

Heart failure is the number one cause of death affecting more than 60 million people worldwide; 50% do not survive 5 years, and 1 in 5 patients will die in 2 years. One person in Australia is hospitalised for heart failure every 8 minutes. Patients in Asia/Pacific suffer from worse outcomes with late presentation of symptoms and huge gaps in treatment for the past decade to address this unmet risk. The key is to optimize treatment of worsening heart failure early and prevent the next hospitalization. To this effect, the European Society of Cardiology HF Guidelines Task Force published new guidelines in 2021 mentioning worsening heart failure for the first time and emphasized the urgency of establishing foundational therapies faster.

Many traditional therapies work by inhibiting signaling pathways. Bayer’s Vericiguat is a therapy that works by stimulating soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), which leads to improved myocardial and vascular function

More People Diagnosed with Cancer Each Year
Despite seeing incredible progress over the past years, the overall burden of cancer is not decreasing, but increasing, with almost 20 million patients diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2020. The global cancer burden is expected to be 28.4 million cases in 2040, a 47% rise from 2020.

Some cancers are caused by specific changes in genes and when a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene joins with an unrelated gene, it is known as tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusion cancer. The cancer is not related to a certain type of tissue or the age of the patient; it can occur anywhere in the body, in both children and in adults.

Bayer’s oral precision therapy Larotrectinib has shown to be an effective treatment in children and adults with TRK fusion cancer. Only specific genomic tests can detect NTRK gene fusions, the underlying cause of TRK fusion cancer. By testing patients and finding out what is driving their cancer, doctors could target the root of the disease. With emerging research on TRK fusion cancer, we are one step closer to precision medicine, where tumor genetics, rather than where the tumor is in the body, help doctors select specific treatment approaches that could more likely benefit their patients.

Prostate Cancer Second Most Common Cancer in Men
Prostate cancer is the second most diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide. In 2020, an estimated 1.4 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 375,000 died from the disease worldwide. Treatment options range from surgery to radiation treatment to therapy using hormone-receptor antagonists, i.e., substances that stop the formation of testosterone or prevent its effect at the target location; however in nearly all cases, the cancer eventually becomes resistant to conventional hormone therapy. Bayer’s Darolutamide is an oral androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) that binds to the receptor with high affinity and exhibits strong antagonistic activity, thereby inhibiting the receptor function and the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Clinical Trials Yielding Consistent Results

Globally, clinical trial activity across the pharmaceutical industry saw sustained growth through the pandemic with 5,500 new planned clinical trial starts in 2021, a 14% increase over 2020. Also in 2021, new drug approvals and launches accelerated, with 84 novel active substances launched, double the number five years ago. according to IQVIA. The 15 largest pharmaceutical companies invested a record US$133 billion of R&D expenditure in 2021, representing an increase of 45% since 2016 and a level of investment close to 20% of their recorded sales.

Bayer is continuing to build a strong pharmaceuticals development pipeline, advancing around 50 projects in Phase I to III of clinical development.2 Among these projects, many have the potential to treat various types of cancers, diabetic kidney disease, and chronic heart failure which represent areas of high medical needs for the region’s ageing population. Asia/Pacific is strongly represented in Bayer’s clinical development activities with 46 ongoing clinical trials conducted in the region throughout 2020 and 2021, and over half of these in the area of oncology.

“We have approximately a quarter of patients from Asia/Pacific represented and enrolled in three key global development trial programs for Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ new breakthrough innovations: for worsening heart failure, chronic kidney disease associated with type 2 diabetes, NTRK fusion cancer and for various stages of prostate cancer. With today’s digital and decentralized model, participation in trials is more accessible and convenient remotely, allowing us to generate meaningful data to monitor and improve patients’ outcomes,” said Dr Catherine Donovan, Head of Medical Affairs, for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division in Asia/Pacific.

Collaborate to Cure
Bayer is fostering collaborations with external partners for accelerating innovation in the development of new medicines. With the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) since 2007, Bayer continues to expand its collaboration activities in the Asia/Pacific region and has already invested S$27 million in projects with Singapore institutions to advance clinical and translation research in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

At its recent Breakthrough Innovation Forum, Bayer announced that it will accelerate investments by its impact investment arm Leaps by Bayer with more than €1.3 billion in funding over the next three years.

“As recovery from the pandemic begins to take shape, the company is working with healthcare professionals across the Asia/Pacific region to transform patient health through science for a better life. Innovation is our company’s lifeblood and so are partnerships and integrating patient care. Putting more resources on the frontlines to educate, detect and treat conditions early before they become more serious can lead to improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare spending,” said Dr Catherine Donovan.

Commitment to Sustainable Health
For more than 50 years, Bayer has been supporting education programs and rights-based family planning in more than 130 countries, particularly by providing access to modern forms of contraception, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – reaching 7 million women in Asia Pacific in 2021.

With its expertise in women’s healthcare, the company has committed to provide 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to family planning by 2030. Bayer consistently runs local support programs in the Asia/Pacific region to educate and support women living with hormonal disorders, like endometriosis – a painful disorder affecting 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide – many of whom do not seek early diagnosis and treatment due to various misconceptions. Many women are also affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a condition that usually develops in a woman’s late teens in which the ovaries produce high amounts of androgens (male sex hormones) that are usually present in women only in small amounts.

In the Philippines, Bayer held a #DontLiveWithPain online roundtable last March 21, 2022 to highlight the challenges of diagnosing and living with endometriosis, build a community of support for OB-GYNEs and patients; and to encourage women to seek out more information on this debilitating condition. The call for awareness on endometriosis continues on April 27, 2022, 6:00 PM with “Breaking the Cycle: What Pinays Need to Know about Endometriosis”, an online talk to be streamed via Facebook Live on Bayer’s Ask Mara and Mercury Drug Facebook pages.

The Bayer Ask Mara chatbot on Facebook was also upgraded last year with additional features such as a store locator to help find nearby drugstores and an expanded knowledge base covering topics like endometriosis and androgen excess – on top of providing advice on contraception and reproductive health topics at any time.

“Forging ahead with our leadership in women’s healthcare, Bayer Pharmaceuticals is supporting women across Asia/Pacific not only with their family planning needs but also through various stages of their reproductive lifecycles. We are committed to patient programs to shift the treatment paradigm from traditional illness-based and hospital-bound to more sustainable patient-centered preventive care,” said Dr Ying Chen.

Bayer comes out superior with a 12.36 metric tons (MT) per hectare yield in DA-administered corn derby in Malaybalay, Bukidnon 

Bayer comes out superior with a 12.36 metric tons (MT) per hectare yield in DA-administered corn derby in Malaybalay, Bukidnon 

Bayer Crop Science (BCS) Philippines is restoring its Mindanao operations with aggressive market enthusiasm armed with new multiple pest-resistant hybrid corn varieties that toppled other seeds in a Department of Agriculture-administered corn derby.  

Coming out superior from the DA Region 10 Field Office (RFO) corn competition is Bayer’s DEKALB 8131S with a top yield of 12,36 MT per hectare. It bested other entries from seven seed companies. 

Incidentally, two other DEKALB hybrid corn varieties, ranked Top 2 and Top 3 in the DA RFO 10 corn derby. DEKALB 8899S gave a yield of 10.9 MT per hectare and DEKALB 8719S at 10.06 MT per hectare.  

DA RFO 10 reported that the hybrid corn varieties were showcased in two research centers in Region 10. The first is at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City with an altitude of 800 meters above sea level. The other competition site is at Research Center for Upland Development (RCUD) in Barongcot, Dangcagan, Bukidnon (600 meters above sea level) on March 3-4, 2022.  

“Our aim is to assess the productivity and profitability of these different hybrid corn varieties and component technologies appropriate for specific locations,” said RFO 10 Executive Director Carlene C. Collado.  

Erwin Vibal, Head of Grower Marketing at Bayer CropScience Philippines, said DEKALB’s strong performance in the competition signals revival of operation in MIndanao. The company experienced a lull in its Mindanao operation in three to four years. It just began restoring operation in 2020 with its new DEKALB superior corn varieties.   

Grain-filled Dekalb 8131S corn cob

“We pulled back in Mindanao from 2016 to 2017 since we had to rethink our strategies. Now we’re confident to be back to Mindanao because of the excellent performance of our product offerings that beat competition by miles away,” said Vibal.   

Mindanao corn farmers found the DEKALB corn varieties highly profitable owing to its VT Double Pro that has resistance to four virulent pests. VT Double Pro has dual mode of action that protects corn plants from Asiatic corn borer, Fall Army Worm (FAW), earworm, and cutworm.   

It is the only hybrid corn variety certified by the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) for its resistance against FAW.   

FAW has been heavily infesting corn farms nationwide, bringing losses of 80 to 100% to farmers.  

“The disease pressure in Mindanao is very high. But farmers have a choice. Do they want to use seeds and use pesticide sprays, or do they want DEKALB hybrid corn seeds that have built-in resistance against pests?” said Vibal.  

  Evangeline S. Mayantao, a farmer of Malaybalay City said (originally in Filipino), “This derby helps us farmers a lot in giving us information on what corn seeds give a high yield and on technologies that will help us grow our farms.”    

Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga recognized the sustained effort of the seed companies in developing high yielding corn varieties appropriate in different agro-climatic conditions.    

Among the provinces in the region, Bukidnon has the largest corn production in the region with more than 100 hectares.  

The third leg of corn derby and field day was held on March 10 at the Research Center for Hillyland Development (RCHD) in Lanise, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.  

The activity was supported by the PLGU Bukidnon through its Provincial Agriculture Office, respective Municipal Agriculture Offices, DA-10’s Research Division and Provincial Operations Center for Bukidnon and farmer associations.  

The results of the derby were presented to the attending corn farmers together with their assigned agricultural technicians, coming from the towns of Magsaysay, Lagonglong, Balingasag, Claveria, Jasaan, Villanueva, Tagoloan and Opol, and the city of El Salvador, MisOr; and the municipality of Malitbog, Bukidnon.   

Collado said in a statement that results from the corn competition will also form part of the agency’s procurement, factoring in the local government units and farmers’ requests.   

Collado also urged the corn farmers to form into clusters, being one of DA’s key strategies to boost the country’s agriculture sector. This will optimize any assistance from the government that would enable farmers to significantly cut their cost of operations, achieve bountiful yields, and reap an increase of incomes.   

“If you have volume, we encourage you to form a cluster, as we can make arrangements with different feed millers, to ensure you enjoy stable or even higher prices for your corn harvest,” he said. Melody Mendoza Aguiba

Bayer to focus on “decarbonizing” agriculture, brings “weather-resistant” short-stature corn, rootworm-resistant corn to market, invests 1.3 billion in Leaps

Bayer is building on the power of emerging new technologies to create a sustainable and resilient food system and help farmers produce more with fewer resources while reducing emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere.
“Bayer’s R&D (research and development) investment of 2 billion euros annually in our Crop Science division is unparalleled in the industry, leading to a robust innovation pipeline spanning seeds and trait technologies, crop protection and digital solutions valued at up to 30 billion euros peak sales potential over the next two decades – with approximately half accounting for incremental growth,” said Rodrigo Santos, Bayer AG Board member and Crop Science president.
On the basis of a technology called RNAi, Bayer recently launched the first-ever biotech defence against corn rootworm, enabling farmers to control a pest that costs around 1 billion euros annually in crop damage while reducing the need for crop protection.
With its short-stature corn, planned to launch as part of Bayer’s newly introduced Smart Corn System in 2023, Bayer is going to bring a more weather resistant plant to the market.
Short-stature corn is able to withstand extreme conditions emerging from climate change, thus reducing the risk of crop loss and contributing to food security.
Leveraging its unparalleled digital farming platform, Bayer is a leading force in the decarbonization of agriculture.
The Bayer Carbon Initiative incentivizes farmers to embrace the use of climate smart practices such as no-till or cover crops.

Short stature corn weathers climate change


It uses next-generation technology to quantify and track the impact of these practices, underlining Bayer’s pioneering role and its unique position in advancing digital capabilities for the food, feed, fuel, and fiber value chain.
Bayer held last April 1 its first ever Breakthrough Innovation Forum.
In conjunction with the event, Bayer announced that it is accelerating its investment in its Leaps by Bayer impact investment unit with more than 1.3 billion euros funding until end of 2024.
“We stand at the dawn of a new age of innovation in the Life Sciences,” said Werner Baumann, Bayer AG chairman of the Board.
“Our ability to tackle some of the greatest challenges is increasing rapidly. From providing answers for incurable diseases, equipping people with preventive tools to live healthier, better and longer lives, to producing more agricultural output whilst significantly reducing inputs and respecting the planetary boundaries. This ability is particularly driven by the accelerating confluence of biology, chemistry, advanced computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence.”
Leaps by Bayer follows a unique approach aimed at tackling ten of humanity’s biggest challenges such as curing cancer or reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
“Over the past seven years, we have invested more than 1.3 billion euros across a portfolio comprising more than 50 companies – all geared towards shifting core paradigms in the sectors of Health and Agriculture,” said Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer.

SL Agritech becomes Philippines’ first private corporation issuer of social finance instrument with P2 billion financing

April 1, 2022

Pioneer hybrid rice producer SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) has become the Philippines’ first private corporation issuer of a social finance instrument with a P2 billion corporate note considered a “sustainable” or “social” financing owing to its socio-economic benefits.

   Issuance to be managed and arranged by MIB Capital Corp., the social finance instrument will support SLAC’s continuing expansion which has become critical as it pursues Philippines’ food security goals.

   “We are very proud to be the first receiver of a social finance instrument in the Philippines,”  said SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong in an investors’ meeting Wednesday.

  SLAC’s financing has merited the approval of DNV Business Assurance Pty. Ltd., according to Thomas Leonard of DNV during the same investors’ meeting.

   DNV made a second party opinion assuring such fund will enable to raise capital for a project that has “social” benefits.  The funds will be drawn in one or more tranches over three years.

   DNV affirmed that “SLAC currently meets the criteria established in its Eligibility Assessment Protocol (that is) aligned with the stated definition of social bonds and loans.”

      Konsintr Puongsophol, Asian Development Bank (ADB) financial sector specialist, said that there has been a steadily increasing demand for sustainable bonds such as SLAC’s social finance instrument.  He said during the investors’ meeting that global sustainable bonds doubled to $1,478.6 billion in 2021 from $745.4 billion in 2020.

SL Agritech’s Dona Maria rice, SL hybrid rice seeds

   “Globally the volume of labelled sustainable finance products is not keeping up with investor demand.  All deals are seeing oversubscription and more favorable issuance,” said Puongsophol.

   ADB extends technical assistance to support issuers of sustainable bonds. The bonds should be issued in the local currency, Philippine peso, of ASEAN Plus 3 markets.

   SLAC has engaged in a continuing expansion every two years.  Its hybrid rice plant production and seed processing sites including expansion sites are in Talavera, Nueva Ecija; Banay Banay, Davao Oriental; Victoria, Tarlac; and Matanao, Davao del Sur.

   “Through our plant expansion program, we are able to help more farmers and provide employment to those in the agricultural sector.  We are contributing to the economic growth in the target locations and nearby rural communities,” said Lim.

   Lim stressed the significance of Philippines’ pursuing food sufficiency especially at the  height of today’s crisis.

   “Both oil and food are very important for us. Right now, during this Russia war, the price of wheat and food has risen. There is a good opportunity for farmers  to plant and yield  more for us to be self-sufficient.  In this season, we have to be self-sufficient in food,” he said.

   A review and finalization of the terms of the note will be done from April 18 to 27, 2022.  Signing of the financing facility will be on May 2.  The social financing instrument will be made available to a limited number –19 primary institutional lenders.

SL Agritech provides inputs to farmers to ensure best yield

   SLAC has recently established its Social Finance Framework (SFF) and Corporate Social and Sustainability Committee to oversee socio-economic development projects.

   Its SFF is aligned with International Capital Market Association Social Bond Principles (ICMA SBP) and ASEAN Capital Markets Forum ASEAN Social Bond Standards (ASBS), said Thomas Leonard of DNV.

   The following are SLAC’s socially eligible projects :

1.      Contract growing program for rice and hybrid seeds (Buyback Scheme for Rice and Seeds). SLAC provides farmers in advance with inputs, tools, and technology – seeds, fertilizers  to ensure good harvest. SLAC buys back farmers’ harvest at prevailing price plus a premium at assures net income of farmers.

2.       Hybrid Rice Technology Demonstration Program.  This is a nationwide farmers’ education program that guides farmers on implementing farming technology using hybrid seeds from planting to harvesting.

3.      Research and development of hybrid seed varieties. This is a continuous program for improving seed varieties in terms of yield, good tasting quality, and pest resistance to ensure a sustainable food system.

4.      Harvest Performance Award (Harvest Festivals) to motivate farmers to raise yield and productivity.  The Masaganang Ani 300 provides social recognition and financial rewards for farmers if they meet the potential optimum yield of hybrid seeds set at 300 cavans per hectare.

5.      Plant Expansion Programs aimed at generating more employment for farmers and agricultural sector, promoting economic growth in rural communities. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Bayer unveils guidelines on therapy of endometriosis, more popularly known for the symptom “dysmenorrhea,” affecting up to 10% of women

April 12, 2022

Bayer Pharmaceuticals has unveiled a new first-of-its-kind guideline for the early diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, more popularly known for the symptom “dysmenorrhea.” 

The guideline is a consensus among obstetrician-gynecologists and related medical experts in Asia. Endometriosis is known to affect 6-10% of Filipino women. 

   The guideline aligns with the latest 2022 guidelines published by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), which details the best practices of caring for women with endometriosis. 

    Both works emphasize the importance of non-invasive procedures in early diagnosis and treatment to allow for patient-centred care. 

   For instance, symptom recognition is recommended before utilising laparoscopy for diagnosis. One of endometriosis’s symptoms is dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstrual period caused by uterine contractions.  Other symptoms, according to a Bayer primer, are non-cyclic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful intercouse), dysuria (pain when urinating), dyschesia (obstructed defecating syndrome), fatigue, and subfertility.   

Medical treatments are recommended for the management of pain post-surgery. 

    For treatment, the consensus recommends hormonal treatment for patients with no immediate pregnancy desires.  

   These treatments should be individually tailored by considering women’s presentation and therapeutic need. Medical treatment such as the use of GnRHa and progestin are also recommended for early treatment, and management of pain post-surgery. 

   “While the consensus is useful in guiding healthcare providers to recommend patient-centric treatment options, there is also a need for us to leverage the right platforms to educate women on endometriosis, empowering them to voice out their pain and seek treatment early by making informed decisions about their condition. 

   “These efforts are testament to our long-standing commitment to support our healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately improve women’s health,” added Catherine Donovan, Vice President Head of Medical Affairs Asia-Pacific, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Asia-Pacific. 

   Angela Aguilar, Past President of the Philippine Society for Reproductive Medicine and co-author of the “Clinical Diagnosis and Early Medical Management for Endometriosis: Consensus for Asia” said, “This is a huge progress in the management of endometriosis. 

   “Through this consensus, early diagnosis and better treatment options will be made available for women to help them achieve an overall improvement in quality of life.    Healthcare providers will be more equipped to deliver patient-centric care and help alleviate the burden brought about by this condition.” 

   The consensus serves as a summation of deliberations by clinicians with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, where they convened in 2019 to critically evaluate evidence, international guidelines and consensus reports around the clinical diagnosis and early medical management of endometriosis in Asia.  

   Besides proposing an algorithm that utilizes both clinical diagnosis and early medical therapy which will require further evaluation to assess its effectiveness in diagnosis and patient outcomes, the work also provides guidance on clinical diagnosis and early empiric treatment. 

   Similar to ESHRE’s 2022 guidelines, the consensus suggests that laparoscopy is no longer considered the diagnostic gold standard. Instead, it proposes focusing on patient history and clinical examination to decrease diagnostic delay, especially in low resource settings.