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Grünenthal’s Innovative Medicines Unit Opens its First Innovation Hub in Holland

“By establishing a hub in such a vibrant and growing biotech cluster like Leiden Bio Science Park, we will be able to interact more efficiently with partners.”


From left to right: Thijs de Kleer (LBSP and BioPartner Leiden), Klaus-Dieter Langner (Grünenthal), Judy Ashworth (Grünenthal) and Deputy Major Robert Strijk (City of Leiden).

The Grünenthal Group, an international, family-owned pharmaceutical company, announced today the opening of an Innovation Hub as an expansion of its Innovative Medicines Unit. The Hub will be located in Leiden, the Netherlands, and be embedded in the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest cluster of biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands and one of the five most successful science parks in Europe.

Innovative Medicines Unit (IMU)

Grünenthal’s Innovative Medicines Unit (IMU) opens its first Innovation Hub to further strengthen the company’s networked Research and Development approach:

  • The IMU – Leiden Hub will serve as Grünenthal’s European center for Open Innovation.
  • Integration in scientific community of Leiden Bio Science Park, the Netherlands, enables easier access and close collaboration with leading scientists and institutions.
  • At Leiden Bio Science Park, about 17,000 employees in biomedical companies, research institutions and hospitals are dedicated to the development of innovative drugs and solutions to support patients.

The IMU – Leiden Hub will enable Grünenthal to engage even more strongly in networked research and development by building strong alliances and partnerships with academia, the biotech community and innovative service providers. The parties involved strive to jointly find solutions for patients suffering from illnesses with high unmet medical need and to bring these solutions faster to the patients by improving the ‘bench to bedside’-approach.

Entrepreneurial and networked approach to R&D

“We are excited to open the first hub of our Innovative Medicines Unit”, says Dr. Klaus-Dieter Langner, Chief Scientific Officer of Grünenthal.

“We are convinced that our model of external collaboration will strongly complement our own internal pipeline and will continue to add value to Grünenthal in the future”, Klaus-Dieter Langner adds.

The IMU is tasked with building Grünenthal’s early clinical development portfolio by building strategic collaborations around projects from external sources and then leading them through to successful clinical proof of concept (clinical Phase IIa trials). In 2015, Grünenthal had already announced the first two major research and development networks – in June the collaboration with Proteus S.A., Chile, and Boston Children’s Hospital, USA, and in October the formation of a research collaboration in fibrotic diseases with Nordic BioSciences, Denmark, and Charles River Laboratories, UK.

“By establishing a hub in such a vibrant and growing biotech cluster like Leiden Bio Science Park, we will be able to interact more efficiently with partners,” said Judy Ashworth, MD, Head of Grünenthal’s IMU – Leiden Hub. “This hub will build networks regionally as well as internationally, connecting to Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and other European areas of relevance.”


From left to right: Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter), Klaus-Dieter Langner (Grünenthal), Judy Ashworth (Grünenthal) and Deputy Major Robert Strijk (City of Leiden). 

Leiden Bio Science Park

Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) is part of Medical Delta, a research driven life sciences, health and technology cluster linking LBSP together with the key regional universities, medical centers and companies in Delft and Rotterdam. Likewise, Medical Delta’s regional innovation partners take part in EIT Health, a European consortium that consists of more than 50 core partners and 90 associate partners from leading businesses, research centers and universities from across 14 EU countries. EIT Health aims to improve the quality of life of Europe’s citizens and the sustainability of healthcare systems.

Grünenthal located their first Innovation Hub with the clear objective to network, identify joint projects and also to support researchers and experts here by sharing their tremendous knowledge. This is exactly what Leiden Bio Science Park provides: a strong network of experts of different specialties who identify the mutual benefit in working together.

Source: InnovationQuarter

6 January 2016

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