Two hundred million dollars over the next ten years: an investment that aims in a very concrete way to accelerate research in the oncological area. This was announced by Msd, the American multinational leader in the pharmaceutical sector, in Italy since 1956, which for years has been carrying out projects aimed at 'inventing life'. The investment, made possible by the partnership signed with BSP Pharmaceuticals SpA, was announced today at the headquarters of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy during a press conference attended by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. US Embassy, Shawn Crowley, the President of the Lazio Region, Francesco Rocca, the Chairman & CEO of Merck & Co., Rob Davis, the President and CEO of MSD Italia, Nicoletta Luppi, and the President and CEO of BSP Pharmaceuticals SpA, Aldo Braca. To announce this important initiative, the same venue was chosen where, about two months ago, the 'Table for the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sector' was launched.
The MSD-BSP partnership
It is estimated that in Italy in 2022 there were almost 391,000 new cancer diagnoses, around 205,000 among men and around 186,000 among women. Finding new opportunities for treatment is therefore a priority and the investment of 200 million dollars over the next ten years will allow MSD to accelerate. An operation made possible thanks to the partnership signed with BSP Pharmaceuticals SpA, one of the most important Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMO) in the world for anticancer drugs – for the production of biotech-derived oncology products.
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MSD's announcement is in line with the corporate objective of positioning itself more and more every day as a partner of the institutions, as a company present in the area which, through numerous partnerships and investments in R&D, is able to generate and disseminate value to the within the health system. "The collaboration between MSD and BSP Pharmaceuticals SpA - declares Nicoletta Luppi, president and managing director of MSD Italia - is part of a renewed awareness on the part of the institutions, inherited from the recent experience with the pandemic, of how research and innovation in the world of Life Sciences must play a central role for the growth of the country, with an approach that starts at the national level and gradually proceeds to the regional one, demonstrating how Italy is a reliable partner, also recognized at an international level, for the development of new opportunities linked to the world of pharmaceutical Research and Development”.
The announcement of the partnership was also commented by the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci: "This is a great opportunity because the two companies are investing in the oncology field for innovative drugs that are badly needed especially after the slowdown phase of diagnoses and of treatments caused by Covid-19. We are continuing our plans to improve access to medicines. For example, we are evaluating the possibility of including those with conditional innovation in the fund for innovative medicines, which are re-evaluated after 18 months to make our country more attractive and for the good of patients. However, it is also important to invest in research because it is a priority for a nation like ours in a situation like the one we are experiencing".
An Italian excellence that the US likes
Founded 132 years ago, MSD is a world-leading biopharmaceutical life sciences company. In 2022, it invested $13.5 billion in R&D thanks to its 19,200 researchers. Testimony of this commitment to R&D are the 6 Nobel Prizes in Medicine awarded to MSD researchers, the last of which, in 2015, to Prof. William C. Campbell for the discovery of ivermectin, the molecule for the treatment of river blindness (onchocerciasis). The 'partner' she is linked to for this investment is much younger. In fact, BSP was only founded in Latina in 2006 and was born out of an ambitious reconversion project of an abandoned industrial site, which led to the construction of plants with very high technological content, approved by the most important Regulatory Agencies in the world and to the relocation of all workers made redundant by the transferring company, following an adequate professional reconversion cycle. "It is a privilege for BSP to enter into a long-term partnership with Msd and to have sealed such a valuable deal," he says. Aldo Braca, president and CEO of BSP Pharmaceuticals SpA. "Our company was created to provide innovative technologies to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, with a focus on cancer treatments and immunotherapy. The advanced technologies we offer to the pharmaceutical industry, applied from the of these innovative products, allow us to accelerate the realization of these ambitious programs, to the benefit of the expectations and quality of life of the patients, which our customers need". BSP has been recognized for 7 consecutive years as a 'leading company' in Conjugated Protein technology for the treatment of cancer by the World/Wide Summit 'ADC' in San Diego, California.
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The Table for the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sector
An agreement which – even before bearing fruit over time – will be able to generate immediate added value through the employment of approximately 100 employees by BSP and a value of approximately 5 million euros per year in satellite activities, exploiting the supply of materials by companies present in the country. “Two months ago – he concludes Nicoletta Luppi – the Italian Government has created the 'Table for the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical sector' with the aim of increasing investments in the Life Sciences sector in our country, implementing an industrial policy plan and increasing Italy's ability to attract investments. We firmly believe that the investment announced today by MSD represents the first tangible and concrete response from the pharmaceutical industry to the requests of the new government”.