Discover Grünenthal



  • Partnership program with Proteus S.A. (Chile) and Boston Children’s Hospital (USA)
  • Grünenthal’s Innovative Medicines Unit driving the program in a new approach to research & development


Aachen, Germany/Santiago de Chile, Chile/Boston, USA. June 12, 2015. Grünenthal Group, an international, family-owned pharmaceutical company, Proteus S.A. and Boston Children’s Hospital today announce a collaboration for neosaxitoxin, a novel anesthetic for local anesthesia and post-operative pain management. Following the respective agreement, both Proteus S.A. and Boston Children’s Hospital will remain as key members of the collaboration steering committee. The deal includes up to 85 million USD in upfront and development milestones plus undisclosed sales milestones and royalties.

Entrepreneurial and networked approach to R&D

“We are thrilled to be entering this collaboration with Proteus and Boston Children’s Hospital”, says Dr Klaus-Dieter Langner, Chief Scientific Officer of Grünenthal. “We believe that this project could transform an area that has lacked innovation for decades.” With the collaboration between Grünenthal, Proteus S.A. and Boston Children’s Hospital, Grünenthal implements the concept of its Innovative Medicines Unit (IMU). The IMU is tasked with building Grünenthal’s early clinical development portfolio by firstly in-licensing projects from external sources and then leading them through to successful clinical proof of concept. “With the IMU we want to be a preferred partner with academic researchers and biotech organizations” said Simon Read, Head of IMU. “In this collaboration we have both; a world leading academic institution in Boston Children’s Hospital and a Chilean Biotech Company in Proteus. We trust that these global collaborations are a key way to bring innovation into new areas. It is a true example of networked R&D.”

Neosaxitoxin was initially developed in a collaborative effort between Proteus S.A. and Boston Children`s Hospital eight years ago. “Our partnership with Proteus has produced a new and innovative approach to treating pain. Dr. Charles Berde and Dr. Daniel Kohane have researched this novel approach for decades in order to bring it to clinical trials,” comments Paul Hickey, MD, Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Neosaxitoxin is also the first NCE from Chile that might be brought to patients outside Chile. “This agreement is therefore an important and unique milestone for the Chilean Pharma and Biotech industry” concludes Miguel Sifri, Proteus S.A. Chairman of the Board. “For the first time, a new drug produced in Chile has been used in human volunteers in the US and with a potential to be marketed worldwide”.

Collaborators present at BIO International 2015

The IMU, Grünenthal, Proteus S.A. and Boston Children’s Hospital will be present at this year’s BIO International convention. The IMU will be present with a booth (#1001-02) and the Grünenthal company presentation will be held on June 17 at 2:15 pm in Theater II “The Gene Lantern”. Apart from IMU’s focus on early development projects, Grünenthal is looking for in-licensing projects in niches and post-IND with a focus on perioperative care, inflammation, niches and orphan drugs as well as cancer supportive care and partnering opportunities in Europe and Latin America as well as the United States.

About Neosaxitoxin

Neosaxitoxin is a site-1 specific sodium channel blocker which acts synergistically with local anesthetics to provide surgical anesthesia by peripheral nerve blocks or local infiltration and markedly increases the duration of post-operative analgesia. Financial and resource investment came from Proteus S.A. and their investors, Boston Children’s Hospital’s Anesthesia Foundation and Children’s Technology & Innovation Development Office’s Technology Development Fund Support. Research into Neosaxitoxin was awarded the Best Clinical Science abstract award at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting.

About Grünenthal
The Grünenthal Group is an independent, family-owned, international research-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. We are an entrepreneurial specialist delivering true benefits to patients. By sustainably investing in research and development above the industrial average, we are committing to innovation in order to treat unmet medical needs and bring value-adding products to markets. Grünenthal is a fully integrated research & development company with a long track record of bringing innovative pain treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients.

Altogether, the Grünenthal Group is present in 32 countries with affiliates in Europe, Australia, Latin America and the US. Grünenthal products are sold in more than 155 countries and approx. 5,200 employees are working for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2014, Grünenthal achieved revenues of € 1.154 bn. More information:

About Proteus S.A.

A Chilean based company, founded in 2007 with local investors, that is mainly focused in biotechnological production of neosaxitoxin and to explore the full potential of this active principle obtained from a specific micro-algae, improving the patient’s quality of life by developing applications complying with national and international standards to market then globally. The production process of the company is environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral.

About Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 14 members of the Institute of Medicine and 14 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. Boston Children’s is also the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

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Friederike Herrfurth

Head Corporate Communications

Grünenthal GmbH



Phone +49 241 569-1335

Erin Tornatore

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Boston Children’s Hospital

300 Longwood Ave

MA 02115 Boston


Phone +1 617-919-3110

Luis Novoa

Proteus CEO


Cerro San Luis 9971

Módulo 3 Quilicura


Phone +56-2-23765044