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Local News Summary of August, 10th

  • This summer is making Baslers fashion-blind
  • Roche enters licence agreement with Dermira for asthma medicine
  • Inner city traffic: After the closure is also before the closure

This summer is making Baslers fashion-blind

It is still summer, according to the calendar. But these rainy days – or rather, rainy hours – pose a difficult question every morning: Shall we try to keep dry and risk becoming sweaty later? And no matter which clothes we will wear in the end: They are certainly wrong!

The weather forecast is unpredictable these days. So is Saint Peter. Someday, it will be clearly warmer than 20 degrees once again. But in between, there is rain – sometime heavy, sometimes less so.

People who work all day have to decide first thing in the morning: What am I going to wear today? What is best according to the weather forecast? What keeps me dry without making me sweat? Once this decision has been made, you are at the weather’s mercy. Regardless of how it may turn out.

And on the streets, you can then see a fashion show: It’s like at an airport, where some people flying to Bangkok are wearing t-shirts and shorts while others travel to see the Northern Lights with heavy fur-lined jackets and lined boots. These days, all different weather fashions are out on the streets and on the trams.

We first meet our neighbour Giovanni: He is wearing gym shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals. But this has nothing to do with the weather – he is walking around like this all year long.

We continue our fashion safari towards the tram station. There, we found a mixture of people waiting for the redirected tram number 8.

Several men and women are wearing raincoats. They are definitely people who prefer jackets and coats to light summer clothing. For them, a rainy morning is welcome, and they wear their heavy clothes almost triumphantly. For now.

But in a few hours, they will regret their decision. Just like the rocker who put on his thickest studded leather jacket today. He will certainly be wearing this jacket over his shoulder by the afternoon. Maybe he knew it already this morning, but there was nothing he could do. Life is hard, but so is he.

Right next to him are three young ladies. They are wearing these really short shorts – or rather thick belts which hardly fit the “hot pants” description. Tummy shirts with spaghetti straps complete this picture – under a grey sky and in the rain.

These girls are the true heroes of summer, because their clothing is dependent on the calendar – and as long as it remains officially “summer”, they will not change. An act of defiance that deserves our respect (and enjoyment).

The tram arrives. A monster hops on at the last moment. It is dressed like an oil rig worker somewhere near the North Pole: A thick coat with a lined hood, and the man underneath is sweating.

What will he look like in the afternoon, when it will become humid again? He is definitely a representative of the rain-fearers. If the three young ladies are one extreme, he is at the other end of the spectrum. Together, they represent the summer of 2017.

In the afternoon, it seems as if the summer resort people have won. Everyone else is sweating like crabs in a cooking pot. But then, towards the evening, the thickly-clothed people are lucky and the people wearing tummy shirts are freezing in the street cafés.

In summary: You can only lose in this kind of weather. Everyone becomes fashion-blind. Or you can be a hero: If you manage to survive one hour in the open, Saint Peter will surely present you with every possible summer climate for a few minutes at a time.

Roche enters licence agreement with Dermira for asthma medicine

Pharmaceutical group Roche has entered a licence agreement with American company Dermira. As part of this agreement, Roche hands over part of the licence for the worldwide rights of its asthma product candidate Lebrikizumab to Dermira.

Dermira wants to test the candidate primarily for the treatment of atopic dermatitis while Roche retains a few of the product’s licence rights. The US company has paid Roche 80 million Dollars for now, Dermira informed on Wednesday.

If certain milestones are reached, Dermira will pay another 40 million Dollars and an additional 210 million Dollars in the case of a Phase-III program. If this program is going to be successful and if Dermira releases the product for the market, Roche could gain revenue milestones of more than 1 billion Dollars.

Roche had already tested Lebrikizumab with patients suffering from severe asthma. Only one of the two studies conducted about one year ago reached its primary goal. It showed that Lebrikizumab significantly reduced asthmatic attacks. Contrary to this result, however, Roche did not reach a statistically significant reduction of the number of asthma attacks.

Inner city traffic: After the closure is also before the closure

The construction site summer is coming to a close and the cantonal engineer’s summary is positive. The street diversions worked despite the closures, he states. Yet in just a few weeks’ time, the next round of total road closures and diversions will follow.

The workers at Aeschengraben are happy shortly before their lunch break. So is a team from the Civil Engineering Office during an on-site inspection with the press. At Dufourstrasse, cantonal engineer Roger Reinauer had earlier stated that there are historical reasons for the numerous construction sites at Aeschenplatz at the moment: Everything had originally been built at the same time. “We try to keep the road works limited to one city quarter so that things can become quiet again once the infrastructure has been renewed,” he said, adding that the basis for this renewing is the reconciliation of traffic needs and the needs of local residents.

Diversions work

At the moment, there are around 13 construction sites around Aeschenplatz. There will be an additional site for the renovation of Hardstrasse. But at the same time, this is not possible because Hardstrasse is currently in use as a diversion route. The case is similar with Elisabethenstrasse, which will be closed completely in October and November from Klosterberg to Bankverein. These road works will only continue once the Aeschengraben works are finished and traffic can run normally again.

The path between the SBB train station and Aeschenplatz will be made into a boulevard with wider streets and an uninterrupted bicycle lane. So far, the cyclist lane stopped near the former Hilton Hotel. Regarding the diversion routes, the authorities state that all “large-scale redirections” are functioning not too badly. The traffic connections between individual city parts are always fluid.

“The noisier, the quicker”

However, things are not always that easy: for example when buildings and shops at sites need to remain constantly accessible for residents and customers. Noise is also a recurring factor. As Mr Reinauer stated: “The noisier a construction site, the quicker it is finished.” But of course, this is not just and reasonable towards local residents. And so, construction remains a balancing act for the staff at the Civil Engineering Office. But there is a comforting factor for Mr Reinauer: “All in all, the infrastructure of the city of Basel is in a good condition.” Still, it needs to be renewed from time to time.