Bayer Announces Winner of “Breathless Moments” Photo Contest to Raise CTEPH Awareness

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by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Patricia Middings of Chester, N.J., is the winner of “Breathless Moments,” a photo contest launched by Bayer in order to raise awareness for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The idea of the challenge was to portray inspirational moments, events or sights that leave someone breathless.

Contest judges Trace Cluck, a CTEPH patient, and his wife Stephanie Cluck selected the photo taken by Patricia Middings depicting a beach sunset. “I was honored to win Bayer’s Breathless Moments contest,” stated Ms. Middings in a press release. “I am a nurse, and knowing that my photo is helping to raise awareness about CTEPH is very gratifying.”

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The Breathless Moments contest was launched by Bayer to call attention to CTEPH, a rare type of pulmonary hypertension (PH) that is caused by the development of pulmonary embolism, also known as blood clots in the lungs. The competition, which was launched last November, was promoted through public relations and social media, and the photos were evaluated according to both their visual appeal and the capacity to depict an actual breathtaking moment.

In order to participate, the photographers had to visit the website, which is an educational site to raise awareness about the disease, as well as complete a quiz on the diagnosis, symptoms and therapies associated with CTEPH. The disease is a life-threatening cardiopulmonary condition for which there is currently no cure, while treatment options include pulmonary thromboendartorectomy, a potentially curative surgery.

“It is estimated that 500 to 2,500 patients develop CTEPH every year in the U.S., many of whom go undiagnosed, which is particularly troubling as a surgical option has the potential to cure some CTEPH cases,” explained the vice president and head of U.S. Medical Affairs at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Dario Mirski, MD. “Bayer is proud to be working to raise awareness about CTEPH, in the hope that increased education will lead to better outcomes for patients.”

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Bayer is currently working on raising awareness and offering novel treatments for rare conditions with great unmet medical need such as CTEPH. Last year, the European Commission approved Bayer’s Adempas (riociguat) for the treatment of adult patients with inoperable CTEPH or persistent or recurrent CTEPH after surgical treatment in EU countries.

“We are very pleased to see Bayer’s commitment to CTEPH patients and their work to raise awareness about the disease,” added the president and CEO of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Silver Spring, Md, Rino Aldrighetti. “Increased awareness is important because CTEPH is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, causing patients to lose valuable treatment time, which can lead to a poor prognosis.”