Mindfulness – new directions in research into itching

The agonizing itching suffered by neurodermatitis patients is a major treatment challenge for both patient and clinician. As well as several other influential factors, stress can also have a negative impact on the course of neurodermatitis. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programmes can demonstrably reduce stress and the consequences of stress. Hence a study initiated by CK-CARE is addressing the question of whether practising mindfulness can have a positive effect on the disease course of neurodermatitis and the itching.

As part of a pilot study, in addition to state-of-the-art dermatological interventions, a classic MBSR programme and neurodermatitis training with elements of mindfulness-based stress reduction were carried out in neurodermatitis patients in the sense of a health-promoting measure. The aim was to study the feasibility (acceptance of the programme, dropout analysis, etc.) and to obtain initial evidence of the effectiveness of both programme components separately and in comparison with each other.

The pilot study was based on a classic pre-post comparison of two mindfulness-based programmes with n = 10 and n = 9 participants. In addition, data were recorded three months after the intervention in terms of a follow-up survey. As well as established measuring instruments in dermatology (SCORAD, DLQI, POEM), two established mindfulness questionnaires (MAAS and FMI) and two instruments for recording stress and strain (PSQ and HADS) were used. Furthermore, open and specific questions were employed in order to assess the benefit and effectiveness of the programmes.

Whereas no significant changes were seen in the dermatological and psychological measurements, the self-assessed attentiveness significantly increased in the first group. In the second group, on the other hand, an increase in inattentiveness was noted, which is a common observation following a systematic mindfulness-based programme. However, the acceptance and subjective rating of the programme as well as the participants’ satisfaction proved very positive.

Conclusion
Mindfulness-based interventions in the sense of health-promoting measures are useful and promising for the symptomatic treatment of itching in terms of generic stress and symptom reduction. The majority of the participants report that the programme helped them to deal better with the symptoms of the illness.

Certification by the Swiss Biobanking Platform – OPTIMA-Label

Davos BioSciences AG achieved the official OPTIMA label of the Swiss Biobanking Platform for its biobank infrastructure as of 30.05.2022. This is another important step for Davos BioSciences AG and CK-CARE. The label attests to the full implementation of a QM system. The OPTIMA-Label confirms: “Compliance with the Good Biobanking Practices; in particular OECD Best practice guidelines for biological resource centres (2007), ISBER Best practices (2018) and IARC Common minimum technical standards (2017). It follows established standards, including the ISO 20387:2018 – general requirements for biobanking. This certification approach is part of our long-term strategy to provide high-quality samples to the research community”.

Certification by the Swiss Biobanking Platform

After some effort, Davos BioSciences AG achieved the official NORMA label of the Swiss Biobanking Platform for its biobank infrastructure as of 17.08.2021. This is an important step for Davos BioSciences AG and CK-CARE. The NORMA-Label confirms: “Compliance with professional standards is essential to perform our daily biobanking activities according to Good Biobanking Practices; in particular OECD Best practice guidelines for biological resource centres (2007), ISBER Best practices (2018) and IARC Common minimum technical standards (2017). It follows established standards, including the ISO 20387:2018 – general requirements for biobanking. This certification approach is part of our long-term strategy to provide high-quality samples to the research community”. Certificate of the Swiss Biobanking Plattform

Claudio Rhyner, PhD appointed as the new Managing Director

On 1 October 2020, Claudio Rhyner succeeded Dr. Georg Schäppi as Managing Director of CK-CARE. Georg Schäppi was appointed CEO at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich as of 1 December, 2020.

Claudio Rhyner was born and grew up in Davos. After studying chemistry and molecular biology, he graduated specialising in asthma and allergy research. He was active in fundamental scientific research, including as head of the research “Vaccine Development” group at the SIAF (Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research). In this capacity he published numerous publications and filed several patents. After holding a leading position in a SME in molecular diagnostics, he became CEO of Biosciences Davos. Biosciences Davos is a spin-off organisation of CK-CARE in the field of biobanking and is part of the Medizincampus Davos. He continues to hold this position.

In his private life, Claudio Rhyner is actively engaged in politics and culture in the Davos community. He also completed a postgraduate degree in the field of management of small and medium-sized companies at the University St. Gallen.

Atopic dermatitis: an expanding therapeutic pipeline for a complex disease

Our founder, Prof. Thomas Bieber, published an important contribution in the treatment of AD:

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease with a complex pathophysiology that underlies a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes. AD remains challenging to treat owing to the limited response to available therapies. However, recent advances in understanding of disease mechanisms have led to the discovery of novel potential therapeutic targets and drug candidates

In addition to regulatory approval for the IL-4Ra inhibitor dupilumab, the anti-IL-13 inhibitor tralokinumab and the JAK1/2 inhibitor baricitinib in Europe, there are now more than 70 new compounds in development. This Review assesses the various strategies and novel agents currently being investigated for AD and highlights the potential for a precision medicine approach to enable prevention and more effective long-term control of this complex disease.

read more…

Kühne-Foundation Annual Report 2020

“Key priority of the Kühne Foundation is the support for training, further education as well as research and science in the area of logistics. This also includes Humanitarian Logistics and a project concentrating on free global trade.
Another focal point is our medicine funding through research, therapy, and education in the fields of allergology and cardiology. In Davos, Switzerland, we operate the Hochgebirgsklinik, a renowed rehabilitation hospital owned by us, and various research institutions. In the cultural sector, we support leading opera houses and concert halls and belong to the main sponsors of the Salzburg Festival and Lucerne Festival.”

Prof. Dr. h.c. Klaus-Michael Kühne