Dr. Derek W. Gilroy from the Centre for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in London is the winner of the 10th International Aspirin? Award. The British scientist has unearthed a hitherto unknown mechanism of action of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) which explains how the active ingredient of Aspirin? inhibits inflammation. Dr. Gilroy's research is unusual in that his studies into the anti-inflammatory mode of action or, in other words, the inhibition of inflammation by ASA, are completely novel. He has shown that the substance has the unique ability to trigger the formation of nitric oxide. With the aid of this, white blood cells are better able to fight infection.

?Dr. Gilroy has demonstrated a biological effect of ASA, providing new insight into the mechanisms of action of acetylsalicylic acid in terms of inflammation and congenital immunity,? said Kurt Soland, Head of the Region Europe in Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division, in recognition of the Award Advisory Board's decision. Added Soland, ?Dedicated young scientists like Dr. Gilroy are gradually eliciting more and more of ASA's secrets. The International Aspirin? Award motivates them to study the substance and provides impetus for further research.?

Dr. Gilroy discovered in a series of experiments that ASA exerts its full anti-inflammatory effect in acute inflammation through the production of nitric oxide (NO). ASA was already known to inhibit the formation within the body of prostaglandins or ?pain amplifiers? but that is not all that it does. The substance also produces inflammation-inhibiting hormones known as lipoxins, which in turn form nitric oxide (NO) and increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood. This phenomenon plays a prominent role in particular in acute inflammation, as NO regulates the transport of white blood cells to sites of infection and injury. If ASA is taken, it is easier for white blood cells to leave the blood system so that they can fight infection or repair injuries to tissues. As a result, warmth, redness, swelling and pain are reduced.

In his laudation to the British scientist, Professor Dr. Karsten Schr?r, Head of the Institute of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology at the Heinrich Heine University in D?sseldorf and a member of the Aspirin? Award Scientific Advisory Board, again clearly stressed the special significance of Dr. Gilroy's experiments. ?Dr. Gilroy's discovery considerably broadens the known spectrum of the biological actions of the active ingredient of Aspirin? and demonstrates that only some of the numerous biological activities of ASA have been investigated to date.?

About Bayer HealthCare AG

Bayer HealthCare AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry. In 2004, the Bayer HealthCare subgroup generated sales amounting to some EUR 8.5 billion.

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Biological Products, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Bayer HealthCare employed 35,300 people worldwide in 2004.

Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture innovative products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating disease.

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