Innovation in Cardiorenal Disease
Three questions, three answers, this time by Richard Nkulikiyinka, Head TA Cardiology & Nephrology at Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Divisions.
How are you helping to make healthy aging possible?
The heart and kidneys are some of the most vital of our organs. Sadly, as we get older, they often progressively lose their function, or sometimes fail completely. For millions of people, this puts a premature end to their independence and quality of life, and ultimately, this accounts for many untimely deaths. That is why I am fully committed to finding therapies that can delay or reverse this loss of heart and kidney function.
What are the biggest challenges to be overcome?
The burden of heart and kidney disease is a huge challenge. Yet, these conditions are often perceived as matters of end-of-life, resulting in low public attention to the need for prevention and early treatment. Overcoming these perception barriers is one of the key tasks facing the entire cardio-renal community: we can only achieve this if patients and their caregivers, physicians, health authorities, payers and the industry all work closely together.
How can we effectively decode aging?
Even with strict adherence to a healthy way of living, regular exercising, and the avoidance of toxins such as tobacco smoke, there may remain genetic and environmental factors that take a toll on our heart and kidney health. We are starting to unravel these thanks to advances in data capture and powerful analytics methods. We are, for example, using highly multi-dimensional real-world data to understand previously hidden interactions between risk factors. Another approach is “deep phenotyping” methods that allow us to better elucidate the links between molecular processes in the human body on the one hand and the clinically observed aging processes on the other. This will hopefully pave the way for new interventions that keep us healthier for longer.