Grünenthal, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen and RTWH Aachen University collaborate to advance pain research

AACHEN, Germany , July 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Grünenthal, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen and RWTH Aachen University announced a collaboration to advance the development of next-generation pain medicines. The collaboration involves the institutes of Dr Angelika Lampert , Professor of Physiology at the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen and Dr Marc Spehr , Lichtenberg-Professor for Chemosensation at the RWTH Aachen University. The partners strive to develop a range of translational research tools and humanised preclinical models to enhance target validation. Under the terms of the agreement, Grünenthal will support the institutes led by Professor Lampert and Professor Spehr with approximately € 1 million of funding. Part of the funding allows for establishing two new post-doc positions. The exploratory efforts at the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen and RWTH Aachen University will, if successful, enable their subsequent integration into drug development activities at Grünenthal. Chronic pain is a considerable burden that impacts up to one in five people worldwide[1] . As one of the most common reasons people seek medical help[2] , it affects health care systems and economies, significantly contributing to disability retirement.[3] Various indications come under the umbrella of chronic pain, and patients frequently experience limited efficacy from available medicines. Despite extensive research, limited progress has been made to bring new medicines that address this unmet medical need. Scientists have used rodent models to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in pain. However, the successful translation of these preclinical findings into new treatments for patients with chronic pain has proven difficult. The pathophysiology of chronic pain depends on a range of aspects that have not been well modelled in preclinical species yet, due to fundamental differences in molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms of pain across species. "To enhance target validation and translational potential of novel analgesics, we want to address two gaps ," explains Jan Adams , MD, Chief Scientific Officer Grünenthal. "First, we would like to increase our ability to validate our hypothesis in human cells and tissue, and second, we want to create models to investigate cell-to-cell interactions. " Grünenthal and the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen will work together to create a shared local infrastructure to ethically and reliably source human Dorsal Root Ganglia (DRGs) and other tissues of interest. The collaboration will also include comparing non-human models to human models ... Full story available on