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06 March 2020

Grünenthal’s Boston Innovation Hub – passionate scientists in the world’s largest research hotspot

Boosting external innovation

Recently, Grünenthal officially inaugurated its Innovation Hub in Boston, where an agile team of drug hunters is taking a biotech-style approach to discovering and developing new medicines for patients suffering from painful conditions.

“We want to team up with the scientific community on the journey towards our vision of a world free of pain.”

Gabriel Baertschi

Grünenthal CEO

It’s estimated that “Big Pharma” generated around 10 percent of its revenue through products derived from external innovation in 1980, and that this figure has risen to 50 percent in the meantime and keeps rising even further. This shows how and where innovation and value creation take place today: in a much more decentralised and networked manner involving interaction between startups, biotechs and academia. For this reason, implementing Innovation Hubs in research hotspots is a key part of Grünenthal’s strategy. We aim to further internationalise our research activities, create more flexible structures and – most importantly – to strengthen and expand our network with leading scientists and institutions around the world. With our Innovation Hubs, we strive to establish centres of excellence for pain research, inviting scientists dedicated to addressing areas of high unmet medical need in pain to team up with us as we are working towards our vision of a world free of pain. The scientific site in Boston will be a major corner stone of this strategy and strengthen our footprint in the US.

“We’re committed to entering strategic R&D partnerships that bring innovative solutions to patients with high unmet medical needs.”

Jan Adams,

Grünenthal CSO

At Grünenthal, we pursue a diligent therapeutic area strategy focused on painful conditions including peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP), chronic postoperative pain, chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis by drawing on a wide range of therapeutic modalities to discover and develop medicines for patients in need. With our Innovation Hubs, we’re offering our expertise in pain R&D and our end-to-end capabilities in pharmaceutical development to interested partners. Each hub will feature a team of high-profile scientists and medical doctors who will operate virtually. These teams will initiate, onboard and drive projects from target identification through to clinical Proof of Concept by leveraging Grünenthal’s R&D capabilities in Aachen as well as by collaborating with external partners. In this way, we’re striving to create meaningful medical solutions for patients while shaping the field in pain research and continuing to work towards our vision of a world free of pain.

We’d like to thank all of our guests for joining us to engage in a lively exchange of ideas and a valuable networking opportunity. We’re thrilled to be an integral part of this vibrant scientific community and look forward to helping to shape the next generation of pain medicines.

“I believe deep disease understanding along with sound translation is key to deliver much needed, improved medicines for pain patients. We will work hard with external pain researchers to deliver the best science in order to move closer to our vision of a world free of pain!”

Joerg Holenz,

Head Innovation Hub Boston

The official opening of our first Innovation Hub in Boston in January 2020 was a very inspiring event that strengthens our belief in this concept. Joerg Holenz and his team invited distinguished speakers including professors from the Harvard Medical School and Dartmouth College as well as colleagues from other pharma companies to celebrate the inauguration of the Boston Innovation Hub and to advance pain R&D in the Greater Boston area. Together, we discussed new insights into innovative treatments for pain, covering the development of objective clinical biomarkers for pain, deep phenotyping or opportunities for innovative sodium and calcium channel inhibitors as analgesics.

We would like to thank all of our guests for joining us to engage in a productive exchange of ideas and a valuable networking opportunity. We are thrilled to be an integral part of Boston’s vibrant scientific community now and look forward to shaping the next generation of pain medicines.

Greater Boston is recognised as the biggest biotech hub in the world. As a centre for creating the next generation of pain medicines, it is home to more than 1,000 biotech companies, as well as venture capital firms, small and big pharma, and some of the world’s leading academic and philanthropic institutes like the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MiT) or the Broad Institute.

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