Below we present recent news from Italy’s biopharma industry, including the recent acquisition of Stemline Therapeutics by Menarini, research collaboration between Italy and China, labelling regulations, a new biotech sector report and new studies on antibodies against Covid-19.


Menarini gains presence in US oncology market with acquisition of Stemline Therapeutics

Menarini Group’s acquisition of Stemline Therapeutics has been successfully completed as of June 2020. Stemline is a commercial-stage biopharma company that develops novel oncology therapeutics. The acquisition bolsters Menarini’s oncology portfolio with commercial and clinical-stage assets. In December 2018 the US FDA approved Stemline’s ELSONRIS to treat blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm and has several other candidates in its pipeline.


Joint report on Covid-19 perspectives from China and Italy

In the journal Cell Death & Disease, researchers from China and Italy published an article on latest understandings about Covid-19 in how the two countries managed the virus and early results of treatment thus far. The researchers compared the two countries’ morbidity and mortality in great detail, with the aim of providing other countries with valuable data to assist in the global efforts to combat the coronavirus.


AIFA labelling regulations for opioid drugs to make warnings clear

Italy’s Medicines Agency (AIFA) communicated a new regulation to companies authorised to market opioid medicines to the public, that packages must contain a clear external label that states “Contains opioid. It can be addictive.” The only exceptions are those products that are for hospital use only.


New report on biotech companies in Italy and their response to Covid-19 now available

The report, titled “Biotechnology Companies in Italy” is produced annually by Associotec. The 2020 report is a snapshot of the Italian biotech sector, including research and development activities, diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and agricultural biotechnology. Associotec has included an addendum “Biotech vs Covid-19” which covers the biotech sector’s response to the coronavirus crisis.


Italian study shows antibody reduces Covid-19 mortality and accelerates respiratory recovery

The IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital in Milan conducted a study in which the monoclonal antibody mavrilimumab was tested in 39 coronavirus patients. The results, published in The Lancet Rheumatology, showed improvement in respiratory function and lowered mortality. Mavrilimumab is an immunosuppressive drug that blocks the molecule Gm-Csf, which makes up one of the first links in the inflammatory chain.