Grünenthal buys into Kyowa Kirin’s adult drug portfolio –

German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal has begun the process of taking ownership of 13 anti-aging drugs developed by Japan’s Kyowa Kirin, which are currently sold by affiliates across Europe.

The first phase of the transfer of rights is the creation of a joint venture between the two companies – 51% owned by Grünenthal – which will have the rights to the brands, which have annual sales of approximately €200 million ($207 million). per year.

In early 2026, Grünenthal plans to buy out the remaining stake in the joint venture to claim full control of its products, including fentanyl-based products Abstral and PecFent for breakthrough cancer pain, Moventig (naloxegol) for opioid-induced constipation and nutritional supplements. Adcal-D3 for osteoporosis.

The private company will pay Kyowa Kirin €80 million upfront, which will also qualify for royalties over the life of the partnership and a final, undisclosed payment when the current relationship ends. Grünenthal’s own revenues in 2021 amounted to approximately €1.5 billion.

The pain products complement the German drugmaker’s current portfolio, which includes a topical capsaicin product called Qutenza for post-shingles nerve pain and diabetic nerve pain affecting the feet, along with non-opioid analgesic resiniferatoxin that recently moved into phase 3 testing in patients with osteoarthritis.

“As a leader in pain management, and with our proven track record of growing established brands, we believe we can help even more patients benefit from this unique group of medicines,” said Gabriel Baertschi, CEO of Grünenthal (pictured above) .

“This portfolio of established brands aligns very well with Grünenthal’s geographic footprint and therapeutic areas,” he added.

The German company is no stranger to expanding its portfolio by buying older brands, having invested €2 billion in M&A in recent years.

Just a few weeks ago, it completed the acquisition of Bayer’s testosterone replacement therapy Nebido for male hypogonadism in the European and Latin American markets for a €495 million payment.

Previous deals include taking rights to cholesterol drug Crestor, gastrointestinal disease therapy Nexium (esomeprazole), migraine therapy Zomig (zolmitriptan), and anti-inflammatory drug Vimovo (naproxen/esomeprazole) from AstraZeneca, as well as ownership of Qutenza from Acorda Therapeutics.

And last year, the acquisition of Swiss biotech company Mestex for an undisclosed amount added resiniferatoxin to its pipeline.

Grünenthal buys into Kyowa Kirin’s adult drug portfolio –

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