Grünenthal And Mesoblast Partner To Develop Allogeneic Cell Therapy For Chronic Low Back Pain

Pixabay License | Sources: kalhh and Wolfgang Eckert , no changes made.
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Grünenthal, a global leader in pain management, and Mesoblast Limited, a world leader in allogeneic cellular medicines for inflammatory diseases, have entered into a strategic partnership to develop and commercialise MPC-06-ID, a Phase III allogeneic cell therapy candidate for the treatment of chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease in patients who have exhausted conservative treatment options. Allogeneic cell therapies can be manufactured and banked, cryostored, for long periods before clinical use. Under the partnership, Grünenthal will have exclusive commercialisation rights to MPC-06-ID for Europe and Latin America.

Founded in 1946, headquartered in Aachen, Germany, Grünenthal is a global leader in pain management and related diseases. As a science-based, privately-owned pharmaceutical company, the company has a long track record of bringing innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients worldwide. Their purpose is to change lives for the better – and innovation is their passion. Grünenthal are focussing all their activities and efforts on moving towards a vision of a world free of pain. The company has affiliates in 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the US.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, founded in 2004, Mesoblast Limited is a world leader in developing allogeneic (off-the-shelf) cellular medicines. The Company has leveraged its proprietary technology platform to establish a broad portfolio of late-stage product candidates with three product candidates in Phase III trials – acute graft versus host disease, chronic heart failure and chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease. Through a proprietary process, Mesoblast selects rare mesenchymal lineage precursor and stem cells from the bone marrow of healthy adults and creates master cell banks, which can be industrially expanded to produce thousands of doses from each donor without the need for tissue matching. Mesoblast has facilities in Melbourne, New York, Singapore and Texas.

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Mesoblast is completing a Phase III trial for MPC-06-ID in the US which will read out in 2020. In a previous US Phase II trial, Mesoblast demonstrated that a single intra-discal injection of MPC-06-ID using a unit dose of 6 million allogeneic mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) resulted in meaningful and durable improvements for patients in pain intensity and functionality for at least three years.

Grünenthal and Mesoblast have agreed on an overall development plan for MPC-06-ID to meet European regulatory requirements. As part of this plan, the companies will collaborate on the study design for a confirmatory Phase III trial in Europe. The results of the two Phase III trials are expected to support both U.S. FDA and European EMA regulatory approvals for MPC-06-ID in chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease.  

“This is an exciting day for Grünenthal. Cell-based therapies offer a novel approach in pain management. They can potentially deliver meaningful lasting improvements to patients beyond symptomatic treatment by maintaining or even restoring physiological function. By teaming up with Mesoblast for the next generation of pain therapies for chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease, we are diligently executing our strategy: leveraging promising new therapeutic modalities and addressing patients with high unmet medical needs. This is an important next step in working towards our vision of a world free of pain.” – Gabriel Baertschi, CEO, Grünenthal

“We are very pleased to enter into this strategic partnership with Grünenthal, a world leader in innovative approaches to pain management. Together with Grünenthal we plan to bring an important new class of therapy for pain management to the many patients suffering with degenerative disc disease. This partnership is in line with our corporate strategy to team up with best in category commercial leaders to maximise market access for our innovative cellular medicines for the treatment of patients suffering from debilitating or life-threatening inflammatory conditions.” – Dr Silviu Itescu, Chief Executive, Mesoblast