Where we come from

Although firmly rooted in Germany, today we are very much a growing global business. As an integrated research and development company, we have a strong track record of bringing effective pain treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients. Our high level of investment in R&D is testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation.

1947 Penicillin

Grünenthal is the first company in Germany to register penicillin after World War II.

1957 Thalidomide

Thalidomide is launched; it was withdrawn from the market in 1961. Since its withdrawal from the market, Thalidomide and its tragic consequences have been part of our history – and they always will be. We support those affected by the tragedy and work to improve their daily lives.

1977 Tramal®

Tramal® is launched; it has since become one of the most frequently prescribed central acting analgesics worldwide.

2001 Transtec®

Transtec®, an analgesic for chronic pain, is launched in Europe. The innovative transdermal patch with a polymer-based matrix system allows the patient to easily handle their pain medication.

2003 Zaldiar®

Zaldiar® is launched globally as the first fixed-dose analgesic containing paracetamol and a small dose of Tramadol. This product is used for the treatment of acute pain.

2007 Versatis®

Versatis®, a topically acting lidocaine patch used for the treatment of neuropathic pain after herpes zoster, is launched in the EU.

2010 Palexia® retard

First launch of Palexia® retard in Europe: our tapentadol medication was the first innovative molecule in the centrally acting analgesic class approved in more than 25 years.

2014 Arcoxia®

We begin to distribute Arcoxia® in several European countries and start to offer an innovative therapy for the treatment of pain with an inflammatory component.

2017 Zomig®

We enter into an agreement with AstraZeneca for the global rights to Zomig® (Zolmitriptan), excluding Japan, a treatment used for the acute treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. This adds another major pain indication to our portfolio.

2018 NexiumTM and VimovoTM

With the acquisition of the pain-related brands NexiumTM and VimovoTM, we conclude the biggest single investment in the history of the company. This acquisition significantly strengthens our leading position in pain management.

2018 QutenzaTM

We establish our own commercial footprint in the United States by acquiring the US-rights for QutenzaTM (capsaicin) 8% patch.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for the U.S. label of Qutenza™ to now also include the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) of the feet in adults. This success marks a key milestone in implementing our company’s strategy and opens up powerful potential to drive growth for our U.S. business.


Grünenthal celebrates its 75th anniversary. It is also the 60th year since the market withdrawal of Thalidomide

With the European rights (except Spain and the U.K.) for the lipid-lowering agent Crestor™, as well as the Swiss company Mestex AG, with its innovative investigational medicine RTX (resiniferatoxin) for the intra-articular treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, we complete two further significant acquisitions.

2022 Nebido®

With the acquisition of the brand Nebido®, a testosterone replacement therapy, we further improve our profitability, allowing us to invest in research and development and create the next generation of pain therapies.


Thalidomide will always be a significant part of our company history.
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