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Grünenthal Acquires Mestex AG

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April 12, 2021

Grünenthal has announced the acquisition of Mestex AG through the takeover of all of its shares and options.

Mestex AG is a Swiss biotech company that has developed the innovative investigational medicine MTX-071 (resiniferatoxin) for the intra-articular treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

The investigational medicine is currently concluding Phase II of clinical development and is about to enter Phase III. Initial data showed a long-lasting and significant analgesic effect and functional improvements compared to placebo (saline injection), as well as a favourable safety profile.

“Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that currently cannot be cured. The inflamed, swollen and painful joints lead to limitation on mobility of the affected patients and may impact their quality of life significantly. Millions of patients currently receive intra-articular corticosteroids or need to undergo knee replacement surgery as last remaining treatment option,” says Jan Adams, MD, Chief Scientific Officer Grünenthal. “With MTX-071, we aim to provide these patients with a well tolerable, non-opioid therapy option that provides long-lasting pain relief and functional improvement of the affected joints.”

Grünenthal is currently preparing two pivotal Phase III studies to investigate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of MTX-071 in patients with pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. The studies will start in 2021 and they are part of a global development programme aimed at meeting the requirements for approval in the EU, the US, Japan and China. The mechanism of action is well validated by clinical studies with other TRPV1 agonists.

“Through the acquisition of Mestex, Grünenthal is well positioned to tap into the global osteoarthritis market. Over 50 million people are affected by osteoarthritis of the knee across the US and the EU.” says Gabriel Baertschi, Chief Executive Officer Grünenthal. “We are confident in the mechanism of action of MTX-071 and will explore its potential for the treatment of osteoarthritis related pain in additional joints.”

This acquisition will further strengthen Grünenthal’s pain-focused late-stage pipeline. The company recently announced a Phase III trial that studies the efficacy, safety and tolerability of QUTENZA® (capsaicin) 8% topical system in post-surgical neuropathic pain (PSNP) with the goal of expanding the current US label.

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