“Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital” was founded in 1956 by Father Pio (now Saint Pio), mostly thanks to private donations. In 1991 the Hospital was certified as a ‘Research Hospital’ (IRCCS) by the Italian Ministry of Health with the focus on the area of «Genetic diseases, innovative therapies and regenerative medicine».
Up to date it has overall 1000 hospital beds and it counts every year over 1.3 million outpatient services and 57,000 hospitalizations. The Hospital has now more than 162 researchers including biologists, doctors, biotechnologists, biostatisticians, bioinformaticians, engineers and technicians in four different sites: three of which are located in San Giovanni Rotondo and one in Rome (Mendel Institute of Human Genetics).
Around 200 clinical trials are currently ongoing in different therapeutic areas including: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Glioblastoma and Huntington’s Disease. In 2015 the Hospital launched “The Huntington and Rare Diseases Research and Treatment Unit”, becoming the only Italian Hospital to have a Unit where the name “Huntington” appears. Neurological and psychiatric assistance, genetic diagnosis, genetic and psychological counseling, laboratory research, clinical research, translational research and regenerative medicine are the key services offered both by the Huntington Unit and the Hospital.
The Huntington Unit has conducted the following clinical trials: Pride-HD, Open Pride, Legato HD, Generation HD1 (as coordinating site) and it will start soon also the Proof-HD study as the Italian coordinating site.
Ferdinando Squitieri, Professor
Neurologist, geneticist and psychiatrist