Marco Lanza


Dr Lanza holds doctoral degrees in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology (1991) and Pharmacy (1993) from the University of Genoa. He did his postdoctoral training in Neuropharmacology at the Dept. of Experimental Medicine, Division of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Genova.

He currently serves as the head of the Pharmacology Section of the Rottapharm Biotech Research Center, with direct reporting from the labs of General Pharmacology, Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Pathology, and Neuropharmacology.


Selected areas of specific experience include:

  • Neurology/Pain, in particular: drugs for the treatment of inflammatory, neuropathic, and postoperative pain conditions.
  • Psychiatry and Central Nervous System, in particular: drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia-related negative and cognitive symptoms; drugs for the treatment of panic and anxiety disorders, depressive syndromes, dementia and degenerative conditions.
  • Rheumatology, in particular: drugs for the control of symptoms and disease progression in osteoarthritis, and for the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


Our main research in preclinical neuroscience focuses on the effects of investigational new drugs (IND) on inflammatory, neuropathic, and postoperative animal models of pain.  In particular, our main biological target is the imidazoline-2 receptor. Selective modulators of I2Rs are currently considered potential pain killers for their  role as modulators of a discrete populations of MAO enzymes. Moreover, recent studies suggest that compounds of this class, being able to cross the blood-brain barrier, may directly control the descending pain pathway, and attenuate the development of opioid tolerance and dependence.


  1. Caselli G, Bonazzi A, Lanza M, Ferrari F, Maggioni D, Ferioli C, Giambelli R, Comi E, Zerbi S, Perrella M, Letari O, Di Luccio E, Colovic M, Persiani S, Zanelli T, Mennuni L, Piepoli T, Rovati LC. Pharmacological characterisation of CR6086, a potent prostaglandin E(2) receptor 4 antagonist, as a new potential disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. Arthritis Res Ther., 20(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s13075-018-1537-8., 2018
  2. Comi E, Lanza M, Ferrari F, Mauri V, Caselli G, Rovati LC. Efficacy of CR4056, a first-in-class I2-imidazoline analgesic drug, in comparison with naproxen in two rat models of osteoarthritis. J Pain Res., 10:1033–1043, 2017
  3. Caprioli G, Mammoli V, Ricciutelli M, Sagratini G, Ubaldi M, Domi E, Mennuni L, Sabatini C, Galimberti C, Ferrari F, Milia C, Comi E, Lanza M, Giannella M, Pigini M, Del Bello F. Biological profile and bioavailability of imidazoline compounds on morphine tolerance modulation. Eur J Pharmacol. pii: S0014-2999(15)30359-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.11.021., 2015
  4. Lanza M, Ferrari F, Menghetti I, Tremolada D, Caselli G. Modulation of imidazoline I2 binding sites by CR4056 relieves postoperative hyperalgesia in male and female rats. Br J Pharmacol., 171(15):3693-3701, 2014
  5. Chiusaroli R, Visentini M, Galimberti C, Casseler C, Mennuni L, Covaceuszach S, Lanza M, Ugolini G , Caselli G, Rovati LC, Visintin M. Targeting of ADAMTS5’s ancillary domain with the recombinant mAb CRB0017 ameliorates disease progression in a spontaneous murine model of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2013 Aug 15. pii: S1063-4584(13)00919-9. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.08.015, 2013