Introduction

Metrion Biosciences have had a longstanding relationship providing drug discovery research services to Grünenthal GmbH, a privately owned pharmaceutical company and global leader in pain management and related diseases. Grünenthal develop medication for patients with severe and debilitating diseases and high unmet medical needs and have a long track record of bringing innovative treatments to market.

Pain and the need for therapeutic intervention

Pain is a major global health problem, with one in five adults estimated to suffer from pain at any one time and one in ten diagnosed with chronic pain each year. Whilst medication exists, issues with efficacy and dependency associated with some classes of drugs, means there is a substantial opportunity to develop new, safe pain medicines. Grünenthal has identified four key areas with significant unmet medical need for research and development into novel pain medicines. The areas include peripheral neuropathic pain, chronic post-surgical pain, chronic lower back pain and osteoarthritis.

What does the new agreement entail?

Recently, Grünenthal and Metrion, who have been working together since 2015, have signed a new ion channel drug discovery research agreement. Under this new agreement, which lasts a further two years, Metrion continues to provide dedicated ion channel expertise and will create new assays to support the development of novel therapies for the treatment of pain. This will include electrophysiology screening of medicinal chemistry compounds generated by Grünenthal, provision of translational assays and access to Metrion’s extensive knowledge of the pain research field.

Dr Marc Rogers, Scientific Officer, Metrion Biosciences, said: “Grünenthal have been Metrion’s longest running drug discovery partner, and during the past five years we have worked on a number of voltage- and ligand-gated ion channel targets in the search for novel and effective new analgesics. We especially enjoy their genuinely collaborative approach to these projects, and the whole team looks forward to another two years of successful ion channel research alongside Grünenthal scientists and their affiliates and collaborators.”

Metrion Scientists and project co-ordination teams look forward to continuing the successful ongoing ion channel drug discovery programme with the Team at Grünenthal, to assist with the development of novel pain therapies which will change the lives of those most in need.