PARMA, Italy, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The centre, which is to be located in Parma over an area of 22,000 sq. m., will be operative from 2011 and will employ over 300 qualified researchers from both Italy and abroad. The investment is worth around euro 70 million. The aim of the centre is the study of innovative products for chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and special care diseases such as cystic fibrosis and respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants.

Since it was set up 74 years ago, the Chiesi group has used research and innovation as strategic weapons to grow in the Italian and global markets, and in 2008 registered 264 patents. Last year, R D investments totalled euro 108 million, accounting for 14.5% of the company's turnover, standing at euro 749 million, 62% of which was generated at an international level.

This investment represents confirmation of strategies that are evidence of our strong commitment to the research and development of new drugs, says Alberto Chiesi, Chairman and Managing Director of the group. The Chiesi Group is currently tackling a significant phase in its growth. Its direct presence in key European markets, its recent debut in the USA and this new research centre further consolidate our international role in the respiratory disease sector, as well as that of special care.

Work has already begun to build the centre, which the group hopes will become a meeting place for the most talented experts available in the market: it will be considered the main hub in the group's global R D network, and should help to encourage first-rate Italian scientists to return to this country and attract important international skills.

As Paolo Chiesi, Vice Chairman and Research and Development Director for the company, emphasises, The new research centre reaffirms the role that Parma plays as our headquarters for the Chiesi group, and will enable us to intensify our research and development activities by integrating them with those at our other R D sites in France, the UK and the USA. The centre will also facilitate our existing partnerships with the academic world and other research centres, to create the basis for new projects and synergy opportunities between the public and private sectors.

For further information: Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A., Massimo Zaninelli, Corporate Communication Manager,, +39-0521-279-084