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Chiesi and Karolinska Institutet (KI) Forge Strategic Research Alliance to Advance Precision Medicine for Patients with Lung Disease

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Date: 18/10/2023

Stockholm, October 16, 2023 - Chiesi, the international research-focused biopharmaceutical group, and the prestigious Karolinska Institutet (KI) have joined forces in a new collaborative research agreement. This partnership is focused on advancing the biological characterization of patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


In line with this commitment, Chiesi plans to bolster its R&D operations at the Solna campus, situated near key research groups at Karolinska Institutet, with a significant expansion of more than 20 percent in the coming year. 


“The Chiesi Group remains fully committed to advancing its highly innovative pipeline. To this end, we are steadfast in our dedication to leveraging on key R&D hubs, as demonstrated by our Solna site that is one of the 8 R&D sites worldwide. We are actively recruiting additional talent across various R&D disciplines and expanding critical projects and infrastructure investments integral to our growth”, said Giuseppe Accogli, Chiesi Group CEO during a visit in Stockholm.


The primary objective of this innovative collaboration is to explore and identify new patient subgroups and biomarker predictors of efficacious treatment. Addressing the challenge of translating preclinical observations into new treatments involves developing computational tools capable of analyzing complex biological data. This is the focus of Chiesi's Translational & Precision Medicine Unit, in close cross-functional collaboration with clinicians, pharmacologists and pre-clinical researchers.


As Chiesi we are driven by the desire to increase the quality of human life for patients, their families and their communities. We do this by finding innovative therapeutic solutions and supporting our patients and their carers through their health journey. In line with this view, we think that Karolinska Science Park offers an ideal hub for biotech and pharma innovation; our cutting-edge R&D team thrives in this rich academic landscape. And the synergy with Chiesi Pharma AB connects us directly to end-users, ensuring the translation of pipeline assets into tangible patient benefits says Mark Parry-Billings, Head of Corporate Drug Development of Chiesi Group, and Head of the Solna R&D Site.


Professor Åsa Wheelock, founder of the Pulmonomics group and head of the Respiratory Medicine Unit at the Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, focuses on experimental pulmonary medicine and pioneering research that melds big data, bioinformatics, and statistical techniques to profile molecular subtypes in chronic lung diseases. Her team merges clinical phenotyping with comprehensive molecular analyses, resulting in innovative data-driven methodologies and in-depth mechanistic insights into conditions like COPD and asthma, among others.


This collaboration signifies the joint dedication of Chiesi and Karolinska Institutet to unravel the intricate biology of these diseases, recognizing the uniqueness of each patient. The collective goal being to expedite the development of effective medicines, ultimately enhancing the quality of life for our patients.

“KI and Chiesi have a long and successful track record of collaborations in the field of respiratory disease, most notably regarding prevention of lung collapse in prematurely born neonates. My team is very proud to continue in these footsteps and expand on the fruitful collaborations between KI and Chiesi. My research group has a long-standing interest in the multi-omics data integration space, particularly for sub-grouping of patients in the asthma-COPD spectrum. This collaborative partnership with a global biopharmaceutical company such as Chiesi is a significant achievement for our team and represents a wonderful example of how academia and pharma can join forces to make the most of the large data sets that are generated in our respective realms. This type of repurposing that still exist of data to facilitate data-driven meta-multi-omics investigations of respiratory disease is paramount to achieve our goals in precision medicine. Given how costly these types of studies are, we need to find creative ways to use the resources invested by private and public interest in an optimal way to address the high unmet medical needs in several critical diseases of the lung” says Åsa Wheelock.


About Chiesi
Chiesi is an international, research-focused biopharmaceuticals group that develops and markets innovative therapeutic solutions in respiratory health, rare diseases, and specialty care. The company’s mission is to improve people’s quality of life and act responsibly towards both the community and the environment.


By changing its legal status to a Benefit Corporation in Italy, the US, and France, Chiesi’s commitment to create shared value for society as a whole is legally binding and central to company-wide decision-making. The company aims to reach Net-Zero greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 2035.


With over 85 years of experience, Chiesi is headquartered in Parma (Italy), operates in 31 countries, and counts more than 6,500 employees. The Group’s research and development centre in Parma works alongside 6 other important R&D hubs in France, the US, Canada, China, the UK, and Sweden.


Chiesi's Swedish research facility, situated in Solna, specializes in biological development and translational medicine. For additional information, please visit www.chiesipharma.se.



Press contact:

Chiesi Nordic
Annelie Barkelund
PA and Ext. communications manager
Tel:  072 703 23 86
Email: a.barkelund@chiesi.com