The SIRM institute is the result of an exciting 10 years-long journey of our founding institutions, Cardiocentro Ticino and FCRE.
- At Cardiocentro is performed the first stem cell transplant in Switzerland on a patient with acute myocardial infarction.
- Cardiocentro participates to the SWISS AMI clinical trial, the biggest phase II multicentric study on cardiac stem cell in Switzerland.
- Cardiocentro builds the first Swissmedic Authorized GMP Cell Factory for stem cell-based drugs in Switzerland.
- SSCB begins its own research activity.
- The university of applied sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerand and Cardiocentro begin a cooperation on Regenerative Medicine research.
- Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland creates the Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences (LBN).
- Cardiocentro becomes an associate institute of the University of Zurich.
- Birth of The foundation for Cardiologial Research and Education (FCRE).
- FCRE opens the SIRM: research groups of Cardiocentro Ticino, Swiss Stem Cell Bank, and SUPSI share a new home in Taverne.
- BAMI – Cardiocentro particpates to the most important european Clinical Trial to determine the effect of bone marrow stem cells transplant in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
- Neurocenter – Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences is transfered to the SIRM Labs in Taverne.
- Hyperstem starts its cooperation with FCRE.
- SIRM Labs in Taverne are fully operational. SIRM is presented to the media in a public press conference.
Regenerative medicine is a tangible reality in Ticino, where in 2004, the Cardiocentro Ticino, carried out the first stem cell transplant in Switzerland on an infarcted heart. It is also at the Cardiocentro Ticino, the true “pioneer” of regenerative medicine made in Ticino, that in 2008 the first Swiss Cell Factory was founded, authorized by Swissmedic, for the preparation of medicines based on stem cells and where cells are treated for the most important national study of regenerative medicine on the treatment of infarction (SWISS AMI). The Swiss Stem Cell Bank, the first biobank in Switzerland, was founded in 2005, a spin – off from the Cardiocentro for the storage of umbilical cord stem cells. In addition to this, other organizations working on “life-sciences” research have subsequently begun to gravitate around the centre, forming an association known by the press as the “Cardiocentro Cluster for Life Sciences”. Significant for the cluster in this regard is the agreement signed with SUPSI in 2010 which, by joining forces opened up a new line of research in biomedical technologies. Only a year later, the Swiss Italian Neurocentre founded its Experimental Research Laboratory.
In 2012 the quality of the research conducted at the Cardiocentro Ticino was recognized by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich, with which the Lugano hospital signed a scientific collaboration agreement, becoming in effect a “partner institution”. The rest is recent history. In 2012, the increasingly important investments in research saw the creation of a new organization specifically dedicated to the support and coordination of this activity: Hence the Foundation For Cardiological Research and Education (FCRE) was founded, thanks to which in 2013, all the research in regenerative medicine of the Cardiocentro, together with that conducted at SUPSI and the Neurocentre Experimental Research Laboratory came together in a new institute based in Taverne, entirely dedicated to regenerative medicine. The SIRM was founded.
The SIRM innovatively unites different and complementary research groups, creating spaces for networking and links with the private sector, creating synergies and opportunities for economic development. Some companies have recently decided to share spaces and infrastructure with other research and development groups at SIRM. This is for example the case for Hyperstem and the research team of the Swiss Stem Cell Bank, two private companies with important research activity to their name, focused respectively on studying new biopharmaceuticals and new sources of stem cells.
To date, the SIRM hosts 5 partner institutions and 11 research groups, with a total of 52 researchers including 8 PhD students and 4 interns.