ItalyItaly

Vatican to fund stem cell research

13.05.2010

Rome/Maryland – The Vatican has taken a bold step into unchartered territory with its decision to finance new research into the potential use of adult stem cells for the treatment of intestinal disease and possibly other conditions. According to an announcement issued by the University of Maryland, the Catholic Church has agreed to donate US$2.7m to the International Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium, which brings together researchers from the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland, the University of Salerno, the Bambino Gesù Childrens’ Hospital in Rome and the Istituto Superiore di Sanita – Italy’s leading public health institution. “This research protects life,” said Cardinal Renato Martino, a former head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, during a meeting with Italian and American scientists and health officials. The Vatican is strongly opposed to embryonic stem cell research, but encourages the search for alternatives. The investment received blessings from the very top of the Catholic hierarchy. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said that adult stem cell research is acceptable because it respects “the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence.” The project is still at a preliminary phase, Vatican officials said.

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07.03.2012

Toscana Biomarkers S.r.l has entered the market for biomarkers with its first diagnostic kit. In late January, the company from Siena signed a licence agreement with DIESSE Ricerche S.r.l, based in Genoa. DIESSE will produce and...

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07.03.2012

Italian researchers have reprogrammed neonatal cardiomyocytes into iPSCs that can re-differentiate toward CMs more efficiently than either cardiac fibroblast-derived iPS cells or even ES cells. (Cell Death Differ.,...

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09.01.2012

Rome – A cold virus isolated from chimpanzees might work as an vector for human vaccines. Adenoviruses are principally suitable as vectors for vaccines for their ability to induce strong immune responses. But as most humans have...

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16.12.2011

Milan/Turku – Italian drug developer Newron SpA has had a roller-coaster ride in the last few months. First Merck Serono decided to drop its stake in the company’s Parkinson’s Disease candidate salfinamide, and returned the...

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15.12.2011

Genoa/Irvine – Researchers from the universities at Genoa and Irvine (US) have patented a new compound that blocks removal of the endo­cannabinoid painkiller anandamide from the synaptic space by a selective transport system....

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01.10.2011

Parma/Baranzate – Chiesi Farmaceutici Spa has said it will lengthen its long-term collaboration with NiKem Research, which is focused on developing treatments within the respiratory therapeutic area. The two drug developers have...

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01.10.2011

Milan/Turku – Biotie Therapies ASA’s announcement that it had signed an agreement to acquire Newron Pharma­ceuticals S.p.A. for €45m is both good and bad news for the Italian biotechnology sector. While Italy is losing one of its...

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19.08.2011

Como – Shares in Gentium SpA lost about a third of their value on Thursday after The Italian biopharmaceutical company withdrew a marketing application for its drug Defibrotide being used against complications related to stem...

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01.08.2011

Milan/London – Italy’s MolMed SpA has signed a deal with UK-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop a production process for a gene therapy against the rare ‘bubble boy disease’. Over the next two years, GSK will...

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