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Local News Summary of November, 29th

  • Rating agency confirms AA+ credit rating for Basel-Stadt
  • Researchers at University of Basel succeed in treating enterocolitis
  • Tomorrow Rheingasse will be „Adväntgasse“

Rating agency confirms AA+ credit rating for Basel-Stadt

The international rating agency Standard & Poor’s has judged the financial power of the canton Basel-Stadt to be worth the second best possible rating it offers, AA+.  The outlook puts Basel at an investment 'low risk' and demonstrates that Basel-Stadt seems to be very well prepared for the business tax reform III. The latest report of Standard & Poor’s sets out the reasons for its AA+ assessment of Basel. It highlights the "extremely pleasing" development of the financial sector in Basel-Stadt, achieved through the development of a cash-flow budget which is earmarked by stable tax incomes and foresightful expenditure politics. Besides a strong economy in comparison to international and other Swiss cities – which was not even hampered by the strong Swiss currency – the "outstanding" liquidity and the "strong" financial management of the canton are especially emphasised in the report.

The proactive approach to the business tax reform III is "positive", according to Standard & Poor’s. The rating agency sees the canton as being well prepared for the tax reform. The outlook of the canton is rated by Standard & Poor’s as „stable“. The agency expects the canton to further pursue its sustainable financial politics and to reach solid accounting surpluses also in the years after 2018. Seeing the convincing preparation of the canton to the business tax reform III, Standard & Poor’s does not exclude an even higher rating in the event that the tax reform is handled successfully. In order to absorb the consequences of the tax reform, the budgetary scope should not be gambled away.

 A good rating leads to lower interest costs for debt on the capital market and enhances the attraction of our canton.

Researchers at University of Basel succeed in treating enterocolitis

Researchers at the University of Basel have succeeded in treating enterocolitis in certain patients through targetted immunotherapy. The success of the research opens new opportunities to treating diarrhoea which can appear as a side effect of cancer therapies. The research team, led by Prof. Dr. Mike Recher from the university and the University Hospital Basel, discovered a rare low immunity  - caused by a genetic modification - in a patient who suffered from a chronic enterocolitis. The researchers succeeded in preventing the patient's suffering through a targeted immunotherapy, a statement from the University of Basel said on Monday.

The genetic modification changes a certain protein called CTLA-4 on the surface of immune cells (so called T-cells), which usually prevents these cells from attacking the body. As CTLA-4 do not work properly where there has been a genetic modification, T-cells can begin to invade the intestinal mucosa and attack intestinal cells. This results in severe inflammation, chronic diarrhea and dramatic weight loss in the patient.

After the Basel researchers discovered the root cause of the symptoms, they worked on a corresponding therapy. With the help of an antibody they have now succeeded in preventing the T-cells of the patient from invading the intestinal mucosa. The substance has blocked the possibility of the immune cells invading the intestinal tissue from the blood stream, the press release says.

After three months of therapy the patient was completely free of chronic diarrhoea, according to the researchers report in the „Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology“.

The antibody Vedolizmab has already been used in particularly severe cases of enterocolitis, such us colitis ulcerosa and Morbus Crohn, where traditional therapies do not work anymore.

Another possibility to use Vedolizumab can be drawn from this successful therapy. It could also help patients suffering from entercolitis while undergoing treatment for malignant skin cancer, according to the  University of Basel.

Rheingasse becomes "Adväntsgass" again

Last year around this time there was a nice surprise in Basel: With the start of advent, the "Adväntsgass im Glaibasel" gave the city its first 'Christmas Street'. Because of the large number of visitors and positive feedback received following the event, the Advent Festival will also take place this year.

Between 29 November and 23 December, the Rheingasse will come alive with Christmas lights, the smell of fir trees, and food stalls offering tasty treats. A total of 20 stalls will be lined up along the street offering sweet and savoury specialities. As well as traditional Christmas dishes such as fondue, raclette, and flammkuchen and the compulsory mulled wine, visitors can also try exotic specialities from Tibet as well as different kinds of curry. Christmas trees and ideas for Christmas presents will also be on sale.

The "Adväntsgass im Glaibasel" will take place every evening from 6pm to 9.30pm. In addition, on 17 December from 1pm to 8pm, the first 'Gässli Market' will take place in the Färbergässlein (by Rheingasse 31). A total of 20 stalls displaying homemade crafts, jewellery, specialities, and much more will be on offer.