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Corporate Publications

10 April 2018 / Our Stories

Searching for a game-changer

CaV2.2 non-opioid medicine for managing severe pain

For decades, scientists have been striving to develop a non-opioid medicine that alleviates severe pain without heavy side-effects. Our experts are now closer than ever to achieving a breakthrough.

“This non-opioid compound has the potential to block one of the central gatekeepers of neuropathic pain and we will continue to challenge the science, as this breakthrough would be nothing else than game changing.”

Paul Ratcliffe,

Head of Research, Grünenthal

Patients with moderate to severe pain require highly-effective pain management medicines. Opioids can provide this relief when used appropriately, which is why several opioids are classified as essential medicines by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the opioid crisis in certain countries demonstrates that opioid misuse can also lead to tragedies for individuals, families and communities, and places a burden on society. For this reason, there’s a clear need to develop innovative medical solutions that provide relief for patients in severe pain, but which don’t contain opioids. With its pioneering work on a new investigational medicine our team of scientists moved a big step closer to achieving this.

Pre-clinical experiments have already been very promising, as our new compound has shown the potential to prevent patients from feeling pain. It does this by blocking the CaV 2.2 calcium channel, which connects the peripheral and central nervous systems in the dorsal horn – one of three columns in the spinal cord that receives sensory information from the body.

With this exciting innovation, our experts are demonstrating our commitment to tackling the biggest challenges facing science. It moves us closer than ever to developing a non-opioid pain management medicine that could provide a high level of efficacy with low side effects. If our teams achieve this, it’ll be a game-changing breakthrough for patients and clinicians. #changeispossible!

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