The today and tomorrow of research at a national level were the focus of the “Incyte Forum on clinical research in Italy. Promoting Italy’s leadership: goals and prospects for the future”, an event organized by Incyte, an innovative American biotech, on the occasion of the inauguration, today in Milan, of the new headquarters, an innovative building, built with eco-sustainable materials and which will host also the nascent “Autoimmunity & Inflammation” Business Unit.
“Italy – declares Jonathan E. Dickinson, Executive vice president and General manager, Europe – is a strategic country due to the great quality and high standards of research and the academies that support our clinical trials. It has distinguished itself, not only at European level but also globally, for its ability to provide the tools and for the development of our innovative therapeutic solutions, this to the absolute advantage of patients and their unsatisfied needs, of the medical profession and of the Institutions for the access to these therapies. For 20 years, Incyte has followed the science to find solutions for patients with critical medical needs and aims to focus on areas where it can make a significant impact, regardless of the disease or the size of the patient population. And, in this, Italy is proving to be an example and a country of great value”.
During the round table, which was attended by representatives of politics, institutions and research, it was recalled that in 2019 672 new clinical trials were approved in Italy, equal to 23% of those approved in the European Union and that every year about 35,000 patients directly involved in clinical trials benefit from innovative treatments, well in advance of their general availability. More than 50% of the clinical trials analyzed in the Altems report, presented in 2022 (data for the four-year period 2017-2020), refer to the therapeutic areas of oncology and onco-hematology (with investments representing 2/3 of the total investments in clinical trials) , followed by immunology (8%).
From the report – reports a company note – it emerges that enrollments in clinical trials concerning viral diseases (linked to studies on Covid-19), diseases of the blood and lymphatic system and those of the digestive system are increasing. It is estimated that, for every euro invested disbursed by sponsor companies for clinical studies, the National Health System (NHS) realizes an overall benefit of almost 3 euros, which rises to 3.44 euros if single-arm studies or those with placebo. The total financial investment in clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies operating in Italy is estimated at 700 million euros per year. The economic benefit for the NHS, therefore, is around 2 billion euros.
Clinical research also has a positive effect on employment with the use of highly specialized professional profiles, not just doctors. The employment leverage effect (“employment multiplier”) of clinical research is estimated at a factor of 1.66. “Clinical research and development have various advantages for healthcare companies, including economic ones – underlines Claudio Jommi, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont – With specific reference to clinical trials, a study carried out on a pool of healthcare companies estimated the difference between the fee per patient and the costs incurred for clinical trials to be between 40% and 50%. Added to this is the potential cost avoided by the non-use, for trial patients, of any alternative medicines reimbursed by the NHS”.
“Dermatology has been the privileged field of research for the use of new drugs, due to the frequency of both inflammatory and oncological pathologies, in which the modulation of the immune system plays a key role in the pathogenesis but also in the cure of the disease. Italian dermatology has also played a key role at the European level, given that Italian authors are in second/third place in terms of number of publications”, explains Piergiacomo Calzavara-Pinton, Director of the Asst Dermatology Unit of the Spedali Civili and Dermatological Clinic of the University of Brescia and past president of the Italian Society of Dermatology (Sidemast).
“The pharmaceutical industry is first in the world for investments in Research & Development with 1,600 billion dollars from 2023 to 2028 – concludes Carlo Riccini, deputy general manager and director of the Farmindustria Study Center – Our sector is the protagonist of an overwhelming innovation in a global scenario which is also undergoing very rapid transformation. It is a system that requires quality in many factors: human resources, companies, public and private research, NHS and clinical centres, manufacturing, academia, regulators. Italy has all these characteristics, that’s why we can attract even more investments”.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, Incyte has offices in 10 European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), Canada, Japan and China with over 2,200 employees , including more than 800 world-class scientists. In Italy, the biotech is growing rapidly, due to the expansion of its range, driven by the recent approval of two new drugs in the hematological and oncological area, as well as the creation of the new Business Unit dedicated to dermatology, in particular to vitiligo and other diseases autoimmune dermatology.
In Italy Incyte has invested over 80 million euros in research in the last 5 years, with an investment rate in clinical trials equal to over 80% of the turnover generated in the same period (in 2022 the turnover reached 29 million dollars ); over 60 people on the staff, mostly made up of women.