"Umbilical cord banks, yes definitive also by the Senate"
(la Repubblica: page 9 – 28 February 2008)
Autologous conservation of umbilical cord cells and blood and the presence of private biobanks will also be possible in Italy. The Senate has in fact approved the text, sent by the Chamber, which will allow the umbilical cords to be kept in public or private structures without charges for the NHS.
"The public hospital becomes a Spa"
(Il Sole 24 Ore: page 12 – 28 February 2008)
The SSN model adopted in Italy is that of the National Health Service, old, but not to be thrown away, rather to be updated to increase efficiency. This is supported by Giuseppe Rotelli, founder and President of the San Donato hospital group. According to Rotelli 'innovation could simply consist in bringing the management of publicly owned hospitals to transparency, as is the case with all other hospitals, transforming them into joint-stock companies, with all the constraints and freedoms of the Civil Code'.
RU486: probable postponement of 2 months due to EU obstacle
(Il Sole 24 Ore: page 1, la Repubblica: page 9 – 28 February 2008)
Just two days after the first yes from AIFA for the approval of the RU486 abortion pill, the news arrives that EMEA is ready to open an arbitration in the mutual recognition procedure of the drug. According to sources from the manufacturing company Exelgyn, Hungary was excluded from the procedure for approving the marketing of the medicine because a prostaglandin is not available in the country, to be associated with RU486 for the expulsion of the fetus, which in Italy is in trade, but registered as anti-ulcer. This could delay the release by a couple of months.
Novartis: doubts about the pipeline
(International Herald Tribune: p. 16 – February 28, 2008)
Investors are wondering whether Novartis' small portfolio of new products will support the company's recovery in 2008. Indeed, Novartis stock lost 12% in 2007 due to delays in the development of key products and the withdrawal, in the USA, of Zelnorm (tegaserod), a drug for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation. Despite headcount reductions and a dividend hike, the company's shares are down 10% this year. On Wednesday 27 February, the stock recorded a loss of 55 cents, closing the session on the Zurich Stock Exchange at 55.15 Swiss francs.
"MolMed, the biotech IPO"
(Il Sole 24 Ore Finance & Markets: page 43, Bloomberg Finance & Markets: page 19 – 28 February 2008)
The placement with institutional and retail investors of MolMed closes today. The debut on the Stock Exchange will take place on March 5th. The initial capitalization will be in the range of 224.6-287.3 million. The company has several anticancer drugs in development. In the more advanced stage there are TK, a therapy to make transplantation compatible in cases of myeloblastic leukemia; Arenegyr, a recombinant fusion protein that acts on the blood vessels that feed tumor masses; M3TK, cancer vaccine based on