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Getting patients back to what matters most

Author: Dr. Amina Benahmed Published at:

“Neosaxitoxin – a biotechnology-derived product which is extracted from a marine source – pushes the boundaries in post-operative pain management. At the same time, it addresses the opioid-crisis by providing a non-opioid alternative for patients and clinicians.”

Mark J. Field,

Head Innovation Unit Pain, Grünenthal

Patients who’ve been through an operation want to get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible. However, rehabilitation can be delayed if the patient can’t be mobilized because he or she is suffering post-operative pain. This can mean a longer stay in the hospital, which is frustrating for the patient and brings further costs for society.

55% of surgical patients are dissatisfied with the pain management they received, while 30% even report that their pain management was inadequately effective. Our teams are searching for an answer to this problem – and they’re not searching alone. We believe that the greatest advances in science will be achieved through partnerships that share ideas through a spirit of collaborative exploration. That’s why our experts joined forces with Chilean biotech company Proteus S.A. and leading academics at Boston Children’s Hospital to tackle this challenge.

Together, we are developing a pioneering new medicine that provides long-acting pain management for post-operative patients, without including opioids. Our innovative compound is called Neosaxitoxin. It’s a local and a regional anesthetic and given in combination with standard of care (Bupivacaine) it has the potential to provide pain management effects for at least 30 hours: Bupivacaine alone only offers 12 hours. For patients, this could be a potentially life-changing breakthrough – it could help them to spend the first night after surgery without pain and speed up their discharge from hospital. After all, they want to get back to what matters most.


1 Maier, C. et al.; The quality of pain management in German hospitals; In: Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010; 107(36): 607–614.

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