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Living and breathing collaboration


At Grünenthal, we want to fund the latest developments in pain research and partner with key contacts to deliver the best in drug discovery. The Innovative Medicines Unit, or IMU, has been set up to strengthen Grünenthal’s pre-IND to Phase 1 portfolio of research projects. The IMU does this by building R&D networks. The IMU targets assets or projects in late pre-clinical development. In collaboration with the asset-holder, the IMU works towards uncovering the full value of the asset in late discovery and brings it through early clinical development. The power of the R&D network is used to full effect; every expert contributes to fill gaps in the existing data, and helps to deliver the asset to the stage of clinical proof of concept.

The IMU is based in Aachen, Germany. There are innovation hubs in Boston, U.S., one of the leading global biotech areas in the world, and Leiden, The Netherlands, where more than 18,000 professionals and leading minds work in the Leiden Bio Science Park. The IMU is therefore perfectly placed to access the vibrant biotech communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The priority for the IMU lies in niche inflammatory and immunological diseases, as well as in areas of emerging science and unmet need, such as fibrotic diseases. These areas often have an overlap with pain in terms of patient population and biological pathways.

The IMU’s networked R&D Approach

What are the benefits of the IMU’s networked R&D approach?

- The IMU itself brings the concentrated knowledge and competence of an R&D-driven company
- At the same time, the IMU delivers the flexibility of a small and agile team. Each asset or project receives a tailored approach to market
- The IMU implements risk-sharing collaborations so that all partners have an interest in asset progression, and share in success
- There is a clear decision-making path to market and the IMU uses a toolkit that helps to quickly identify gaps and how best to address them
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