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The future of pain medicines

How will we test the efficacy of pain medicines in the future? An important question that we intend to answer.

“Innovative test systems for identifying curative analgesics with reliable efficacy in patients” (NeuRoWeg) is a project that was set up by a consortium following € 1.5 million of funding by the EU and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The project will investigate the molecular basis of neuropathic pain and develop innovative new test systems that enable the efficacy of new patient analgesics to be assessed more accurately and rapidly.

“Our cooperative project NeuRoWeg will enhance our understanding of pain as a disease and how to cure it.”

Dr. Petra Bloms-Funke

Grünenthal, Translational Science & Intelligence, Head of Department for Grants and Partnerships

Our research proposal was developed with the University Hospitals in Cologne and Bonn and the specialist company Life & Brain. Our aim is to improve the treatment of patients suffering from neuropathic pain – something that is presently inadequately managed through existing therapeutic agents.

“We are always looking for innovative test systems that enable us to quickly and reliably predict if new drugs will be effective in humans”, explains Dr. Gregor Bahrenberg, NeuRoWeg project coordinator and Grünenthal Grants and Partnerships Lead. “Combining the expertise of renowned specialists with cutting-edge technologies, we’re working to develop innovative assays using stem cells derived from human skin or blood cells that will advance how we identify innovative pain medications to cure patients”.

Neuropathic pain develops as a result of nerve injury caused by diseases such as diabetes or through chemotherapy, accidents or surgery. It is suffered by approximately 7–10% of the general population, – a significant number of people and increases with age, especially in women.


Improving pharmacotherapy and the management of refractory pain is a complex problem that requires diverse types of expertise. It is our mission to develop innovative new pain solutions.
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