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international Cooperations


The German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (DFNS) is member of the european network "Europain". Europain is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and aims to improve the treatment of patients with chronic pain.

18,5 million EUR against chronic pain

IMI is a unique Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the European Union represented by the European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations (EFPIA). The Europain projects started in 2010 and are funded over the coming 5 years with altogether 18,5 million EUR. A prolongation for the 6th year was approved in 2014, the Europain projects will be performed till September 2015.

The Europain projects focus on chronic pain, e.g. neuropathic pain. The aims are to increase the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms, to help to develop novel analgesics, and to develop better biomarkers for pain. The ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people suffering from chronic pain.

Europain will undertake a large number of preclinical and clinical studies. The programme will be delivered through collaboration between laboratories in the Europain network, sharing resources to improve the value derived from the budget.

international expertise

The consortium network involves altogether 23 academic and industrial partners from Europe, among them scientists representing 12 renowned European Universities: King`s College London (Academic lead), University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford, the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, the Medical Faculty Mannheim/ Heidelberg University, the Technische Universität München, the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil/ Ruhr University Bochum, the University Hospitals of Aarhus, the Rigshospitalet Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark and SME Neuroscience Technologies from Barcelona.

Three renowned academic pain consortia are also part of the network: The London Pain Consortium, the Danish Pain Research Center and the DFNS.

Moreover Europain involves the research resources and expertise of Europe`s most active pharmaceutical companies working in the field of analgesics, including AstraZeneca (coordinator), Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Esteve, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB Pharma, Grünenthal, Astellas und Abbvie.

For further information please see our press release, April 21, 2010:
Europain consortium receives EU and industry funding and begins five year research into better treatments for chronic pain (pdf)


Founded in 2010 on initiative of the DFNS the research consortium Neuropain integrates the resources of 12 leading european centers in the field of neuropathic pain. The aim over the next 2 years is to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of neuropathic pain, to describe objective assessment tools for diagnosis and to derive a more rational treatment of neuropathic pain.

One issue amongst others is why some patients with neuropathic pain respond on special medication while others are non-responders. The studies are based on the mechanism-oriented classification concept of neuropathic pain. The precise pain phenotype will be assessed with clinical examination, a variety of questionnaires of pain symptomatology and a standardized quantitative sensory testing (QST), which allows to classify patients in subgroups. Future clinical trials should investigate whether special sensory symptom cluster subgroups correlate with potential treatment responders.

The research network involves study centers of the following european universities, institutes and hospitals: the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, the Technische Universität München, the Benedictus Krankenhaus Tutzing, the Medical Faculty Mannheim/ Heidelberg University, the BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil/ Ruhr University Bochum, La Sapienza University (Rome, Italy), the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (London, UK), Neuroscience Technologies (Barcelona, Spain), the Pain Center Hopital Ambroise Pare (Paris, France), the University Hospitals of Aarhus (Aahrus, Denmark), the Karolinska Insitutet (Stockholm, Sweden) und Rehabilitation ORTON (Helsinki, Finland).