Pfizer has announced to initiate with more research work on Asian populations in coming years in a bid to develop drugs for diseases prevalent in the region, such as cancers of the liver and head and neck. "Prevalence rates for specific types of cancer are significantly higher (in Asia), for example gastric cancer, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer, probably due to factors such as diet, environment and genetics", Steve Yang, Head of Pfizer's R&D in Asia, said at a press briefing. The company’s research and development (R&D) executives in Singapore uncovered that the clinical research unit in Singapore, possessing a volunteer list of 14,000 healthy individuals - would be utilized as a base for Asia-specific research. It is revealed that Pfizer initiated with the research work in Asia almost 3-1/2 years ago and its Singapore research unit ranks itself among the three worldwide - the other two being Brussels in Belgium and Connecticut in the United States. This week, the company revealed its conglomeration with MicuRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. and China-based Cumencor Pharmaceuticals mainly to design new drugs to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis, or TB strains that are resistant at least to isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs.