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«There is no mention of losing the wealth of knowledge and discoveries gained in 20 years of work. This is why, faced with Cell Therapeutics' decision to close the Bresso plant, we all said together: we'd rather take over it», says Paola Nicoli, a 39-year-old chemist, a ten-year-old researcher of the American multinational that deals with clinic and preclinical in the oncology branch.
The Cell Therapeutics plant is located in Bresso, in the Zambon area, where 62 people work, including 56 researchers: the average age is 40 years. For them, the proposal of the American company that wants to transform the mission of the Lombard site is unacceptable: no longer research, but commercial. If it would no longer be strategic for the parent company to keep the preclinical laboratory in Bresso, for the researchers things are quite different. «Ours is a very close-knit research group which over the years has shown that it knows how to work as a team. There are people who have been working here for 20 years, when Boehringer arrived, then Roche and Novuspharma took over. Cell Therapeutics arrived in 2004».
The 62 of the Bresso site, with great pride in the results achieved – «the pixantrone that Cell Therapeutics is preparing to launch on the American market was invented in Bresso», they explain – and with the awareness of their value on the market – «we are used to dealing with an international reality and we know the level of our skills very well», they say – they met several times, they discussed and in the end they decided to launch a proposal to the company: «We will take over the Bresso site».
Just today in Assolombarda in Milan, there will be a meeting that represents the first stage of the researchers' project. To carry out their operation which they technically define as a "management buyout", the 62 researchers need the support of public and private bodies. A contact has been initiated with the Province of Milan for the creation of a research pole which would see the Bresso site as the link between basic pharmaceutical research and clinical development. "This would not only be an opportunity to continue working for us - explains Nicoli - but also the way not to lose the wealth of knowledge that has been acquired in 20 years of work by a very cohesive group and which has been able to make discoveries that have given it international visibility".

Il Sole 24 Ore of 06/03/2009 p. 22 MILAN


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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco