SIENA, ITALY - 20 MARCH 2015: People sit in Piazza del Campo, the principal square of Siena's historical center, in front of Palazzo Sansedoni, the headquarters of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation, in Siena, Italy, on March 20th 2015.
The charitable Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation is the bank's largest shareholder that has financed projects in the fields of economic development, art and research. Until 2014, the Foundation has entirely funded Siena Biotech, a clinical-stage drug discovery company whose efforts are mainly focused on discovering new drugs for therapeutic intervention against neurodegenerative diseases and in oncology, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and Cancer.
Now Siena Biotech has filed for bankruptcy proceedings, and its researchers and employees occupied the headquarters of the company based in Siena.
Siena, a Tuscan city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest surviving bank and Italy's third largest bank. The bank, founded in 1472, was the largest employer in Siena, and it helped finance a host of community projects and services until it stumbled during the financial crisis started in 2008.