Germany steps up the fight against the Most Painful Disease

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Grünenthal just acquired Thar Pharmaceuticals to pave the way towards treating complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), considered one of the most painful conditions.

Grünenthal, the company behind the thalidomide scandal in the 60s due to childbirth deformities, is now focusing on complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a rare orphan disease that causes prolonged and intense pain. In order to strengthen its leading position in this field, Grünenthal has acquired US-based Thar Pharmaceuticals, although no financial details have been announced. With this move, the German company now owns Thar’s Phase III-ready program to treat

There are currently no treatments approved specifically for CRPS, but Grünenthal is trying to change that: its pipeline currently includes neridonate, an intravenously delivered drug for CRPS currently in Phase III. With the incorporation of the new drug candidate T121, with orphan drug designation by the FDA, the company now counts with an oral alternative to treat this burdening condition.

CRPS is considered one of the most painful conditions and can lead to severe disability, sometimes permanently.

Grünenthal seems to be well prepared to establish its leadership in CRPS: the company already has a strong portfolio of drugs for acute and chronic pain in the market that brought €1.2B in revenues last year.

Although CRPS is just a small market segment, the neuropathic pain market is rapidly growing and has doubled in the last decade. This market is currently dominated by opioids, which have caused addiction crisis in North America. With two promising non-opioid candidates for CRPS in late-stage development, Grünenthal might take over this market niche before its main competitor Endo Pharmaceuticals, which only targets CRPS in the context of certain related conditions.

Featured image by TheVagabond/; image by donskarpo/


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