Singapore - 20th June 2013 – Menarini Asia-Pacific, member of the world's largest Italian biopharmaceutical company, reaffirmed its commitment to improve the lives of people in the Asia-Pacific region with the visit of Prof. Louis J. Ignarro, a distinguished Nobel Prize winner, to share about his breakthrough research in heart disease prevention with Asian physicians. Prof. Ignarro was recently in Hong Kong and the Philippines to speak at the 44th Annual Convention of the Philippine Heart Association.
Prof. Ignarro was winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of Nitric Oxide ("NO") as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Prof. Ignarro has also received numerous other special awards for his research.
"The discovery of NO as a potent vasodilator had resulted in new treatments that could lower blood pressure and even reduce cardiac diseases. Menarini Asia-Pacific was excited to welcome Prof. Ignarro to the region to share his work about what some have called the Miracle Molecule, with Asian physicians" said Mr. John Graham, Chief Executive Officer, Menarini Asia-Pacific.
For nearly 30 years, Prof. Ignarro's research had focused on the role of NO in the cardiovascular system. Among the most significant contributions from Prof. Ignarro's wealth of research was the discovery that NO was produced in the blood vessels and controlled the flow of blood by signaling the vessels to expand and contract.
Hypertension is a major public health issue in the world today, accounting for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year. In 2008, approximately 40% of adults aged 25 and above had been diagnosed with hypertension; the number of people with the condition rose from 600 million in 1980 to 1 billion in 2008. The increasing prevalence of hypertension is attributed to factors such as population growth, ageing and behavioural risk factors, such as unhealthy diet.
"There are now appropriate drug treatments that can actually stimulate the production of NO in the body. That is a good way to take advantage of NO because it cannot be given for the most part as a drug, you have to find other ways to stimulate NO," said Prof. Ignarro.
Prof. Louis J. Ignarro
– Ends –
 How Nitric Oxide Maintains Health, February 2009, http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/stories/16315.html
 A global brief on hypertension, World Health Organization 2013
About Menarini Asia-Pacific
Menarini is the world's largest Italian biopharmaceutical company with a heritage of over 127 years and nearly 17,000 employees in over 100 countries. Here in Asia-Pacific, Menarini's vision is to be a leading provider of important healthcare brands to improve the lives of people in the region. Menarini Asia-Pacific operates across the entire commercial value chain, from regulatory approval and product launch to lifecycle management with a diverse portfolio of proprietary and partnered brands in key therapeutic fields, including Dermatology, Primary Care, Allergy/Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Oncology/Specialty Care, Men's Health and Consumer Health.
For more information about Menarini Asia-Pacific, please visit http://www.menariniapac.com/