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Discover Grünenthal

Leading the way

Author: Dr. Philipp Wabnitz Published at:

“Vulvodynia is still a hidden, undertreated and stigmatized condition, neither well understood nor recognized. We were able to link a target to the disease and work relentlessly to create the first approved medication for Vulvodynia.”

Women with Vulvodynia experience pain when the vulva is touched or pressure is applied to it. Some patients feel spontaneous or constant pain – but there is currently no specific treatment available. This means the condition can have a severe impact on quality of life: Affected women report limitation in their regular daily activities, avoidance of sexual intercourse, as well as feeling unable to exercise or participate in social activities. Patients also experience low self-esteem, depression or shame.

This medical condition is not only underdiagnosed by also undertreated. Until very recently, there was very little awareness of the condition, which meant women often faced a long struggle to have their symptoms diagnosed. However, more and more women are speaking up about the disease and its impact on their lives. As these courageous women look for medical support, our teams of experts are working on an innovative medicine that offers hope for a solution. We believe Grünenthal is the only company in the world that is striving to tackle this distress with a tailored pharmacotherapy – and our team has already created a promising clinical candidate.

Our investigational medicine is a nociceptin opioid peptide (NOP) receptor agonist, which has the potential to become the first approved medication for Vulvodynia. Our development process began with experiments to understand the pain paths followed by a detailed consultation of women who suffer from the condition, with the aim of understanding their needs as clearly as possible. This valuable input will not only allows us to design better clinical trials but also to the ongoing development a specific tool to capture the patients’ assessment of pain and impact in their domains of their lives; reported as outcomes. Our experts built on this foundation to address the urgent need for a medicine that can provide a better quality of life for women suffering from Vulvodynia.