The research areas on which the Chiesi Group focuses are the following: Respiratory and Neonatology. The Chiesi Group also has research projects in other areas: Cystic Fibrosis, Central Nervous System and Regenerative Medicine.
The “Industrial Scoreboard Report” (ISR) published by the European Commission documents the level of investment in R&D by European industry. It uses a representative sample of 1,400 industries, 67 of which are pharmaceutical. In the 2010 report, Chiesi was in first place in Italy and 14th on the European pharmaceutical scenario. In 2010 investment in R&D totalled 150.3 million euros, 14.8% of total income. The transfer to the new Research Centre, which will begin in July 2011, provides an opportunity to redesign processes initiated in 2008 in order to increase R&D efficiency. R&D will operate with a model based on internal maintenance and the subsequent development of the main skills that are expected to give the company competitive advantages (such as its excellent inhalation formulation platform) and the outsourcing of activities that are repetitive and performed in a context of cost-efficient economy of scale. The new open technology research lab in Chippenham (UNITED KINGDOM) started to operate fully in 2010, with avant-garde research in the inhalation delivery field. In order to remain in the forefront of inhalation technology, Chiesi plans to enhance these facilities while keeping up to date with the new technologies in order to improve the returns on current and the generation of new opportunities.
Furthermore, Chiesi R&D will continue to collaborate with Academia and other external collaborators in the search for innovation in our strategic areas of interest. Respiratory will continue to be the main focus, representing more than 70% of our R&D expenditure. In 2010, Chiesi and other members of the EFPIA, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, provided significant support for the future of IMI (Innovative Medicine Initiative), a public-private initiative in the medical field aimed at promoting medical innovation in Europe, generating more streamlined R&D processes. Specifically, Chiesi performed a coordination role in two respiratory programmes: COPD and severe asthma. Collaboration between industry and Academia, coordinated by Chiesi in COPD, resulted from the establishment of the "PROactive" project. PROactive focuses on the development of new Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) tools able to record changes in the physical activity of COPD patients before and after therapy. Appropriate PROs will be validated as new terms to show disability and improve quality of life, as added benefits of new drugs for patients, regulatory authorities and insurers.
The project has already generated information that will be presented at the annual “European Respiratory Society Annual Congress” in 2011 and published in scientific journals. In the field of severe asthma, Chiesi is helping to coordinate the results of the U-BIOPRED (Unbiased BIOmarkers in PREDiction of Respiratory Disease Outcomes) project. This project's objective is to obtain better understanding of the clinical, functional, cellular and molecular aspects of different severe asthma phenotypes. A better understanding of this disease's characteristics can be expected to provide diagnostic tools and help research departments to develop more effective and specific treatments. On the other hand, Chiesi is committed to research of the function of small airways in obstructive pulmonary conditions and is sponsoring different research projects in this field, aimed at obtaining data from physiological and pathological measurements and evaluating their significance for clinical symptoms and treatment.