Bayer Science & Education Foundation awards €30,000 to Basel University Hospital neurologist

Dr. David Seiffge

Doctor at Basel University Hospital honored for clinical work on management of non-vitamin K dependent oral anticoagulants in acute stroke patients

LEVERKUSEN, 21-Feb-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The third winner of the Bayer Thrombosis Research Award has been chosen. The Scientific Committee of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation has awarded the EUR 30,000 prize to Dr. David Seiffge from the stroke research group in the Department of Neurology at Basel University Hospital in recognition of his clinically significant work on the management and safety of non-vitamin K dependent oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in patients with acute stroke. Seiffge and the research group showed that stroke patients in everyday clinical practice can be treated with NOAC as little as five days after the acute event. The bleeding risk was low at just 1.3 percent per 100 patient-years. They also showed that in acute stroke patients the results of determining the plasma concentration of rivaroxaban are available after just 30 minutes, which could open up new options for acute therapy. An international pilot study initiated by Dr. Seiffge and Prof. Stefan Engelter showed, for example, that thrombolysis could be performed successfully in selected stroke patients who had been receiving NOAC therapy.

The Thrombosis Research Award has honored aspiring up-and-coming researchers for outstanding achievements in the field of pure and clinical research into thrombosis since 2013. It was established in 2011 by the Bayer scientists Dr. Frank Misselwitz, Dr. Dagmar Kubitza and Dr. Elizabeth Perzborn, who won the German Future Prize in 2009 for developing the anticoagulant Xarelto®.

“Advances in science, both at universities and research institutes and in industry, are society’s investment in the future. We want to boost research and promote excellence,” said Kemal Malik, member of the Bayer AG Board of Management responsible for Innovation and Chairman of the Foundation. “Bayer is working to discover and develop new treatment options for diseases for which there is a high level of medical need. It is therefore also very important for us to support pioneering achievements both in medical research and clinical application. In addition, through its foundations and particularly through the awarding of this prize, Bayer wants to increase appreciation for top-level research and medical progress,” continued Malik. It was these considerations that led the three Bayer researchers to donate the EUR 250,000 prize money for winning the German Future Prize to establish this award for up-and-coming researchers. Bayer doubled this initial funding to EUR 500,000.

Said Dr. Frank Misselwitz, prize sponsor and Head of the Cardiovascular and Coagulation Therapeutic Area in Bayer’s Clinical Research, “David Seiffge is a talented clinician whose work stands out from that of the many other nominees. His work on the patient safety of non-vitamin K dependent oral anticoagulants delivers findings that are significant for clinical practice. In view of his outstanding scientific work, Dr. Seiffge is most particularly deserving of this award.”

With the exception of the prize sponsors themselves, the scientific judging panel for the new award is made up exclusively of experts from universities and hospitals all over Germany: Professor Michael Böhm (Saarland University Hospital), Professor Christoph Bode (Freiburg-im-Breisgau University Hospital), Professor Andreas Greinacher (Ernst Moritz Arndt University Hospital, Greifswald), Professor Edelgard Lindhoff-Last (CCB – Cardiovascular Center Bethanien, Frankfurt-am-Main) and Professor Bernhard Nieswandt (Rudolph Virchow Center at the University of Würzburg).

The prize is awarded by the Bayer Science & Education Foundation. The overriding aims of this foundation are to recognize outstanding research achievements, promote scientific talent and support key natural science projects in schools. In terms of content, the focus of its sponsorship activities is on natural sciences and medicine. Outstanding research achievements are honored by the Foundation in alternate years with the Hansen Family Prize and the Otto Bayer Prize, both of which are endowed with EUR 75,000. Two prizes for aspiring and up-and-coming researchers complete the program: the international Early Excellence in Science Award is presented annually in the categories biology, chemistry and medicine, each with prize money of EUR 10,000. The Bayer Thrombosis Research Award, presented every two years with prize money of EUR 30,000, supports scientists in German-speaking countries whose work focuses in particular on pure and clinical research into thrombosis.

The 2017 prize winner, Dr. David Seiffge, studied medicine in Heidelberg, Rennes (France) and Basel. He investigated the effect of an artificial oxygen carrier in stroke-related hypoxic brain damage in an experimental doctoral thesis developed in Professor Lothar Schilling’s laboratory in Mannheim/Heidelberg. Dr. Seiffge has worked in the Department of Neurology at Basel University Hospital under Professor Ludwig Kappos since 2011. Most of his scientific work is done in the cerebrovascular research group under Professor Engelter and Professor Lyrer, focusing on clinical research into oral anticoagulants, stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. Special funding from the University of Basel is currently enabling Dr. Seiffge to study the clinical significance of plasma levels of non-vitamin K dependent oral anticoagulants.

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