Paolo Chiesi is Appointed Honorary Doctor at Karolinska Institutet

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chiesi Farmaceutici, an international research-focused healthcare Group (Chiesi Group), is proud to announce that Paolo Chiesi, Vice President Chiesi Group, has been appointed Honorary Doctor at Karolinska Institutet for his long-standing commitment to treatment of the lungs of premature babies. The title of honorary doctor at Karolinska Institutet (KI) is traditionally presented to a graduate who has made great efforts for science, humanity, the Institutet or in other ways, such as research and development within KI's sphere of interest.

“I am very honored to receive this award from one of the world's most prestigious and respected medical universities. This is also a great opportunity to reunite in Stockholm with some of the most prominent researchers I worked with in the ’80s. Our cooperation has continued over the years and we have become close friends over time,” comments Paolo Chiesi.

Paolo Chiesi is awarded for his long-standing commitment to the drug CUROSURF (poractant alfa), a rescue treatment for Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) in premature infants. CUROSURF (Cu as in Curstedt, Ro as in Robertson and surf as in surfactant) was developed by two researchers at KI in the 1980s, Tore Curstedt and Bengt Robertson. A deficiency of pulmonary surfactant in preterm infants results in RDS, which is characterized by poor lung expansion, inadequate gas exchange and a gradual collapse of the lungs. Transient adverse effects seen with the administration of CUROSURF include bradycardia, hypotension, endotracheal tube blockage and oxygen desaturation.

After the first study, the researchers collaborated with the pharmaceutical industry to continue the production on a larger scale and found a committed ally in Chiesi Farmaceutici and Paolo Chiesi. At the time, Dr. Chiesi was the Head of Research and Development in Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A and chose to invest in the project. Over the years, more than four million premature babies have been treated worldwide with CUROSURF, which is now available in 97 countries. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the collaboration has continued, with Chiesi continuing to support research and annual international scientific meetings.

Paolo Chiesi received the award in the famous Blue Hall (location of annual Nobel Ceremony) in Stockholm City Hall on Friday, May 10, followed by a gala dinner in the Golden Theatre.

References IQVIA Global Market Share, Total Year 2018. Data on file, Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. and Chiesi USA, Inc.

CUROSURF should only be administered by those trained and experienced in the care, resuscitation, and stabilization of preterm infants.

Transient adverse reactions associated with administration of CUROSURF include bradycardia, hypotension, endotracheal tube blockage, and oxygen desaturation. These events require stopping CUROSURF administration and taking appropriate measures to alleviate the condition. After the patient is stable, dosing may proceed with appropriate monitoring.

Pulmonary hemorrhage, a known complication of premature birth and very low birth-weight, has been reported with CUROSURF. The rates of common complications of prematurity observed in a multicenter single-dose study that enrolled infants 700–2000 g birth weight with RDS requiring mechanical ventilation and FiO2 ≥ 0.60 are as follows for CUROSURF 2.5 mL/kg (200 mg/kg) (n=78) and control (n=66; no surfactant) respectively: acquired pneumonia (17% vs. 21%), acquired septicemia (14% vs. 18%), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (18% vs. 22%), intracranial hemorrhage (51% vs. 64%), patent ductus arteriosus (60% vs. 48%), pneumothorax (21% vs. 36%) and pulmonary interstitial emphysema (21% vs. 38%).

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Globe Newswire: 14:00 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019

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