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Aachen, March 6th 2013. The Grünenthal Group, a global leader in pain therapy with headquarters in Aachen, Germany concludes an exclusive license, distribution and supply agreement with Ethypharm, a French company that is specialized in the development of innovative formulation technologies. The agreement allows the company to commercialize Ethypharm's fentanyl sublingual tablets for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain in selected European markets. With the in-licensing of the product, the Grünenthal Group can now offer patients an additional pain treatment option and establishes a strategic extension to its own pain product portfolio. Ethypharm's sublingual tablet achieves rapid onset of analgesia by incorporating an innovative, patented novel drug delivery technology which enhances fentanyl absorption and facilitates rapid systemic exposure to the analgesic.

Leader in pain therapy innovation
The Grünenthal product portfolio consists of a wide range of substances for the treatment of chronic as well acute pain.  This includes products for the relief of nociceptive, neuropathic as well as mixed pain conditions. Grünenthal sustainably invests in the research and development of innovative therapies for the treatment of pain. The company recently launched an innovative substance (tapentadol) that combines two mechanisms of action in one molecule and shows fewer side effects than classical opioids in clinical studies. Grünenthal’s strategy to invest in research and developments efforts that amounted to about 25 % of revenues in 2011 is accompanied by partnering and cooperation projects for the development and commercialization of products. “With the fentanyl sublingual tablets for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain we can offer patients a treatment option that meets the special need of rapid pain relief.  Through the license agreement we also emphasize our commitment as an independent, global pharmaceutical company with long-time experience in the development of innovative analgesics to be the preferred partner worldwide in pain management for patients, healthcare professionals, and payers.“, commented Dr Alberto Grua, Executive Vice President of the strategic business unit Grünenthal Europe & Australia.

The license agreement between Grünenthal and Ethypharm includes the rights for the following markets: France, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Niche Market breakthrough Cancer Pain 
Breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) is a transitory exacerbation of pain experienced by patients who have relatively stable and adequately controlled background pain. BTcP strikes very quickly and without warning in many cases peaking in as little as three minutes and lasting on average for 30 minutes. Accordingly, a very fast onset of analgesia is crucial in order to efficiently treat BTcP. Ethypharm's sublingual tablet achieves a rapid onset by incorporating an innovative, patented novel drug delivery technology which allows a rapid Fentanyl absorption and systemic exposure to the analgesic.

About Grünenthal
The Grünenthal Group is an independent, family-owned international research based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. Building on its unique position in pain, its objective is to become the most patient-centric company to be a leader in therapy innovation. Grünenthal is one of the last five research-oriented pharmaceutical corporations with headquarters based in Germany which sustainably invests in research and development. These investments amounted to about 25 % of revenues in 2011. Grünenthal’s research and development strategy concentrates on select fields of therapy and state-of-the-art technologies. We focus on the intensive search for new ways to treat pain better, more effectively and with fewer side-effects than before. Altogether, the Grünenthal Group has affiliates in 26 countries worldwide. Grünenthal products are sold in more than 155 countries and approx. 4,200 employees are working for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2011, Grünenthal reached revenues of 947 Mio €. More information:

About Ethypharm
Ethypharm is a medium sized independent French pharmaceutical company headquartered in Saint-Cloud, France.
Ethypharm designs, develops and markets through key licensees and partners oral modified release medicines. Our products offer multiple benefits to patients’ health by improving efficacy, administration, compliance, and reducing side-effects. Ethypharm products are sold in more than 52 countries worldwide.
Ethypharm focuses on pain management with a wide range of opioid based products as well as on opioid substitution therapy (TSO).
This new partnership with Grünenthal strengthens our position in pain management and in particular in the break through cancer pain therapy. Ethypharm Fentanyl sublingual tablets are subject to additional agreements in other European Markets.
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Frank Schönrock

Vice President Public Engagement

Grünenthal GmbH



Phone +49 241 569-1568