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Pasta maker Barilla funds cell therapy research for coronavirus

MILAN (Reuters) - The Barilla family, which owns the pasta maker of the same name, has donated $500,000 to U.S. non-profit association “The Cure Alliance” to fund research on a COVID-19 therapy based on stem cells, the group said on Monday.

The clinical trial for the cure, which is being developed by a group of international scientists led by Italian professor Camillo Ricordi, has already received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Barilla said.

A 24-patient clinical trial will be carried out in Miami to assess the efficacy of the therapy aimed at blocking the life-threatening lung inflammation that accompanies severe cases of the disease triggered by the coronavirus.

The money adds to a previous 2 million euro ($2.19 million) donation made last month by the company to health institutions in Italy to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the company’s home country.

Reporting by Francesca Landini. Editing by Jane Merriman

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