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Project NeOn is underway.
In Lombardy, the public and private sector have come together to meet the needs of those suffering from diseases of the nervous system and tumours with a high need for treatment.

A new partnership of skills and knowledge has been created in order to discover the treatment strategies of the future through research and innovation.

Milan, 5 June 2018. Lombardy once again proves itself an international engine of innovation and research, and is increasingly confirming its ability to encourage the development of treatments for the future. In this sense, today’s signing at the Milan headquarters of the Dompé biopharmaceutical company should be interpreted in this sense; in the presence of Fabrizio Sala, Vicepresidente della Regione Lombardia e Assessore per la Ricerca, Innovazione, Università, Export e Internazionalizzazione [Vice-President of the Lombardy Region and Councillor for Research, Innovation, Universities, Export and Internationalisation], the agreement on the NeOn Project was undersigned; it provides for Dompé as leader of the group composed of Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele [San Raffaele Vita-Salute University], Università degli Studi di Milano [University of Milan], Politecnico di Milano [Polytechnic of Milan], Istituto Europeo di Oncologia [European Institute of Oncology], Istituto di Neuroscienze del CNR [CNR Neuroscience Institute], Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia [Italian Institute of Technology], Proxentia srl, Neuro-zone srl. A veritable “scientific consortium” that brings together organisations and companies among the highest levels of excellence in their respective areas of expertise.

Project NeOn aims to develop a platform dedicated to the research and development of new drugs for the treatment of diseases of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and oncology, thus covering the entire process of “drug discovery”.

With a total value of 7 million, Project NeOn is part of the Research Agreements envisaged by the regional law 29/16 “Lombardy is research and innovation” and sees the allocation, by the Region, of funds for about 3.9 million (ERDF ROP 2014-2020) for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

With these Agreements we want to support the extensive partnership between the world of Research and the different skills of industrial companies” said the vice-president of Regione Lombardia and Councillor for Ricerca, Innovazione, Università, Export e Internazionalizzazione, Fabrizio Sala. “The aim is to foster research projects that have a concrete and measurable impact on the life and well-being of citizens, aimed at the development and competitiveness of the economic-social system in Lombardy”.

History, size, diversification of the economic structure, and quality of human capital have consolidated Lombardy as the engine of growth based on the ability to innovate and to include, as well as being one of Europe’s reference centres in attracting ideas, talents and companies.

In this context, biotechnologies, biomedical technologies and pharmaceuticals, and the network of hospitals and research and care institutes are a key resource for development for the entire geographical area and beyond. Life sciences are a sector of excellence in our country. Here resides almost a third of the biotech and medical companies present in Italy, and here originates about 45% of the turnover and national investments of pharmaceuticals. This region is the second European region for employees in the pharmaceutical industry. There are 19 IRCCS here that promote a scientific production superior to any other national territory, with an emphasis on excellence of care that attracts patients every year from all over Italy and even more from abroad.1

It is necessary to promote the enhancement of the present excellent research, but also to promote the strengthening of multidisciplinary programmes and the formation of innovative and highly qualified profiles in molecular biology, synthetic biology, nano sciences, data science, favouring the transfer of technology to the industrial sector afterwards.

NeOn’s goal is to integrate industrial skills (GI and PMI) with academic skills to create an innovative platform that, through the definition and activation of an experimental development plan, will favour access to new clinical candidates in the areas of reference, particularly oncology and neurodegenerative diseases.

The project therefore aims to be a prime example of private and public collaboration that, by pooling respective skills, can generate an innovative model of research and development that is significant in terms of scientific results that can be used and developed in the future by the companies participating in the project, or even by other future partners.

The common line of research will focus on the identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the identified pathologies, with the aim of developing new therapeutic objectives and identifying new effective agents for treatment.

A virtuous example of how public and private align to create excellence, in support of the territory and for patients”, said Sergio Dompé, Chairman and CEO of Dompé Pharmaceuticals. “With 28,000 employees in the sector, Regione Lombardia is already ‘the leading pharmaceutical region of Italy and Europe2” and today, more than that, it is the core of globally recognised centres of excellence with which we will work to identify new therapeutic solutions”.

 

 

  1. Source: Assolombarda, Assolombarda’s vision for Milan.
  2. Source: Farmindustria, the number of Pharmaceutical companies in Italy, 2018.