Policlinico di Milano
The Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, also known as Policlinico Hospital of Milan, has followed in its six centuries of uninterrupted activity hundreds of thousands of patients in their path of healing, influencing the history of medicine and anticipating innovations that are revolutionary to this day.
Policlinico’s mission has always aimed at reinserting citizens in the city’s active life; this strong vocation is enhanced by another distinctive characteristic of the hospital: a wide range of medical specialties, centres of excellence and highly qualified professionals. This provides the best health treatments at every age, from conception to adulthood.
The translational research activity is part of Policlinico core activity together with a strong commitment in transferring every innovative findings from laboratory benches to the patient’s bed. The hospital is ranked by the Italian Ministry of Health as the first Public Medical Research Hospital in Italy for quality of research activity and academic publications, thanks to the competences of its highly specialized professionals.
As a recognized leading institution within the European networks of diagnosis and treatment, the Policlinico is the Italian hospital with the highest number of ERN (European Reference Network) awards, thus placing itself as a scientific reference point at the highest European levels.
Policlinico research activities areas
Policlinico research activities are concentrated in the following areas:
NEUROLOGY: together with Haematology, is the first area per Impact Factor and for clinical and laboratory trials. Alzheimer disease, degenerative and neuromuscular diseases and syndromes (congenital and acquired) are the leading-edge research sectors.
BLOOD COAGULATION DISORDERS: clinical research and applications on haemophilia, thrombosis and coagulation diseases make Policlinico the primary Italian centre for research and theraphy in this field transversal to many disciplines.
HEPATOLOGY: this area has an Impact Factor at the highest levels, especially in the field of antiviral therapy for hepatitis B and C, hepatocellular carcinoma and portal hypertension in close relation with liver transplant activities.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: occupational medicine has progressively developed excellent lines of research in the field of tumour prevention (especially mesothelioma) and in the field of atmospheric pollution, one of the main health problems in Italy especially in Lombardy region.
RARE DISEASES: Policlinico, with more than 13.000 cases included in the rare diseases regional registry, has the greatest number of patients assigned (a third of the entire Lombardy region) covering more than 300 pathologies, being an established reference clinical and research centre at national level.
PAEDIATRICS: the Hospital has developed a specific transition programme for pediatric patients suffering from chronic diseases establishing a link with the corresponding adult units focused on the study and cure of the same diseases. The typical example is one of the most common hereditary diseases: cystic fibrosis. The research activity on childhood infective diseases is also relevant, focusing on primary prevention (vaccination) and therapy. Research activity is also focused in the field of clinical nutrition for the prevention of adult degenerative diseases through the optimization of nutritional habits in the premature baby, infant and child.
OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY: The Mangiagalli clinic has the highest number of births per year in Italy (6K/yr) and the clinical activity is supported through a continuous research activity in the fields of assisted fertilization, innovative surgical techniques for intrauterine correction of foetal malformations and endometriosis.
INTENSIVE CARE: with the development of ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) procedure Policlinico became one of the main Italian centre to use it in the ordinary clinical practice. More recently the hospital performed the first lung transplants with reconditioned organs.
DERMATOLOGY: As a national centre of clinical reference and research on skin diseases and cutaneous lymphomas Policlinico can offer a portfolio of clinical research services covering different types of interventional and non-interventional studies, in line with the highest national and international quality standards.
Technology and innovation
Investment in clinical scientific research and in cutting-edge technology to find new treatments has always been the primary aim of Policlinico Hospital. Foetal and neonatal surgery, organs rejuvenation, robotic surgery and fluorescence guided surgery are only some of the innovative techniques that the physicians and researchers implement every day.
General surgery operations are mainly carried out with the minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, for the full benefit of the patients and their functional recovery. Policlinico experts can rely on cutting-edge technologies like 4K ultra-high definition endoscopes, ultrasonic and bipolar dissectors. Policlinico is one of the few centres in Italy that use innovative instruments for Perfusion, and is on a level of excellence among the Centres for kidney transplantation thanks to its expertise on organ reconditioning.
Reference Centre for organ transplants and donations
As an international reference centre for collection, processing and storage of biological material, Policlinico is the home of the Milan Cord Blood Bank with an inventory of more than 9.000 umbilical cord blood donations and 500 stem cells transplants performed in Italy and abroad.
Biobank offers conservation services of different biological materials, such as serum, cells, DNA, RNA, at -80/-196°C. Member of the Italian biobanks network this facility has an inventory of about 540.000 samples related to 36 research programmes.
The Bank of Rare Blood is also based inside the hospital at the Transfusional Center Unit where rare blood samples are identified and stored in coordination with the regional and national centres for special needs. The Cell Factory “Franco Calori” is the first Italian public facility mainly dedicated to the study of adult human stem cells, their potential and their differentiating capacity, with a GMP unit for cell manipulation authorized for production of products for advanced cell therapy.
Policlinico is also the home of Nord Italia Transplant program (NITp) for transplants and organs reconditioning, and from 2016 also the Regional Coordination Transplant Center as a partner of the National Transplant Centre.
Policlinico TTO collects every year new proposals for patent applications (invention disclosure) from most active researchers. Policlinico Hospital holds the exclusive ownership (80%) of its patent portfolio, while the remaining (20%) is jointly owned with other entities, such as the University of Milan, Medical Research Centres, private partners and companies.
Most of the inventions of the portfolio find application in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human pathologies; the remaining are concentrated in the fields of biotechnology, medical devices, molecular and cellular systems.
Since 2007 to date Policlinico TTO has filed 166 patent applications (49 families), 82 of which granted as Italian or foreign patents. About 40% of the active families in the portfolio, have been licensed to private industrial partners and some inventions are already available on the market as medical devices to improve the clinical practice.