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Aachen, Germany, 8 May 2019 – Grünenthal intends to realign its research and development activities. Today, the Corporate Executive Board informed the workforce about the background of the intended changes.

"At Grünenthal, we are very proud to be one of the few medium-sized, science-based pharmaceutical companies in the world. Research and development remains at the core of our strategy. However, we have to change the way we conduct our research in order to continue to develop innovative medicines for patients in the future," explains Grünenthal's CEO Gabriel Baertschi.

Growth through innovation: The company can look back on almost 50 years of success in innovative pain research and management. Among its own developments are Tramadol, which has been used to treat pain since the 1970s, as well as Tapentadol, which Grünenthal launched in 2010 and is now marketed worldwide. However, despite substantial ongoing investment in R&D, the company has not been able to build on these past successes in the last decade.
"The pharmaceutical industry, especially the neurosciences, has been suffering from low R&D productivity for years. However, promising new approaches with the potential to strengthen our innovation activities are now emerging," says Baertschi. These include new therapeutic modalities such as biologics, as well as cell and gene therapies, that Grünenthal intends to add to its capabilities. It also includes advances in translational medicine, for example in biomarkers that make it possible to transfer preclinical findings into clinical development more reliably. "It is important for us to be able to draw on a wide range of relevant therapeutic modalities. The past decade has seen significant developments in this regard – far beyond small molecules," Baertschi states.

Grünenthal will maintain its levels of investment in R&D, but will focus its activities on diseases including peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP), chronic postoperative pain, chronic back pain and osteoarthrosis. The company aims to drive these projects forward with even greater support from external partners, especially in technical and clinical development. "We also want to further internationalise our research activities and create more flexible structures. Our objective is to double our pipeline," explains Baertschi.

The ongoing R&D realignment primarily concerns the current and future main research site in Aachen, where the company today employs around 500 R&D employees. Grünenthal is also reviewing central functions such as Finance and Human Resources with the aim of reducing administrative costs to bring them in line with benchmark levels for its industry. The company has entered into consultations with employee representatives and specific measures will be announced following the conclusion of these consultations.

About Grünenthal
Grünenthal is a global leader in pain management and related diseases. As a science-based, privately-owned pharmaceutical company, we have a long track record of bringing innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients worldwide. Our purpose is to change lives for the better – and innovation is our passion. We are focussing all of our activities and efforts on moving towards our vision of a world free of pain.

Grünenthal is headquartered in Aachen, Germany, and has affiliates in 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the US. Our products are available in more than 100 countries. In 2018, Grünenthal employed around 4,900 people and achieved sales of € 1.3 bn.


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Štěpán Kráčala, Head Global Communications, Grünenthal

Štěpán Kráčala

Head Global Communications

Grünenthal GmbH