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Grünenthal research consortium receives €1.5m EU grant

Wins funding for development of efficacy testing in neuropathic pain treatments

GrunenthalA research consortium that aims to improve the development of new analgesic drugs has been awarded a €1.5m grant from the EU's regional development fund and the Federal State of North Rhein-Westphalia.

Established by Grünenthal the project - called NeuRoWeg - sees the German pharma firm partner with members from the University Hospitals of Cologne and Bonn, and specialist neuroscientific technology platform Life & Brain.

The EU funding will support research into the molecular foundations of neuropathic pain, with a view to the development of testing systems to swiftly and accurately determine the efficacy of new analgesics.

Dr Gregor Bahrenberg, laboratory head at Grünenthal and NeuRoWeg project coordinator, said: “We continually strive to identify novel test systems with which we can more reliably and more rapidly characterise whether new drugs will be effective in humans.

“In order to achieve this, we want to collaborate with our partners to establish innovative assays employing stem cells derived from human skin or blood cells to advance the means for identifying novel pain medications which can cure patients.”

The NeuRoWeg project will pool cutting-edge technologies and specialists' expertise contributed by each of the partners, ranging from neurological disorders stem cell research to high-content screening, over the next three years.

Dr Petra Bloms-Funke, head of Grünenthal's medical intelligence and innovation partnerships unit, said: “Our cooperative project NeuRoWeg will enhance our understanding of pain as a disease and how to cure it.

“A key problem in the development of new medicines is the poor ability of currently available test systems to predict efficacy in patients. This can lead to high failure rates during clinical development.

“We anticipate a considerable improvement with the highly innovative test systems we have planned.”

Approximately 7-10% of the Germany's population suffers from neuropathic pain, with greater incidences in women and the elderly. It is caused by nerve injury, and is often associated with diabetes and chemotherapy. 

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

27th September 2016

From: Research

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