USF Research News

Grünenthal Acquires Tampa Bay Technology Incubator’s Thar Pharmaceuticals

November 29, 2016

Thar Pharmaceutical’s chronic pain compound complements Grünenthal's development pipeline

TAMPA, Fla. – Thar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage, specialty pharmaceutical company, has been acquired by privately held international pharmaceutical company Grünenthal. With this acquisition, Grünenthal has obtained the worldwide development and commercialization rights for Thar Pharmaceutical’s lead development candidate, T121.

T121 is a novel, Phase 3- ready, patented therapeutic. It has received orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and will broaden Grünenthal's portfolio for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a disease whose patients suffer from severe, persistent pain and a variety of other disabling symptoms.

"We are very proud of what our team of employees, advisors, partners and investors has accomplished in driving our T121 lead product into Phase 3 development ,” said Dr. Lalit Chordia, the former chairman of Thar Pharmaceuticals board.

Thar Pharmaceuticals joined the University of South Florida’s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator in 2007, where the company focused on transforming IV-only drugs into oral drugs for existing and new indications using its proprietary technology Enhance™ development platform.

USF’s TBTI supports technology research as a catalyst for economic development and facilitates the growth and development of life science and other high tech companies by providing entrepreneurial support programs, services and physical infrastructure.

“We found our way to the USF incubator through the chemistry department and appreciate all the support, knowledge and patience that the University and its staff, professors and students have provided Thar,” said Raymond K. Houck, former president and chief executive officer of Thar Pharmaceuticals.

“Our experience in the incubator has been very productive and has allowed Thar the environment and infrastructure to take its T121 lead drug from an idea to the initiation of Phase 3 development for the treatment of CRPS.”

Grünenthal will conduct clinical Phase 3 development to demonstrate efficacy and safety of T121 for the treatment of patients with CRPS. Preclinical and pilot clinical evidence suggest that zoledronic acid could significantly reduce pain and other debilitating symptoms of CRPS.

“We believe Grünenthal is an exceptional strategic fit for Thar’s T121,” Houck said. “Grünenthal’s track record of bringing innovative pain treatments to patients around the globe underscores that we have chosen the right partner.”

“We are so proud of Thar Pharmaceuticals, and their accomplishments demonstrate how important it is to support early stage companies,” said Valerie Landrio McDevitt, USF associate vice president for technology transfer & business partnerships. “USF’s TBTI is uniquely qualified to address the needs of technology companies doing cutting-edge research, and our goal is to provide them with state-of-the-art wet labs, shared equipment, high tech conference rooms, and office space to take their innovations to the next level.”

About Grünenthal

The Grünenthal Group is an independent, family-owned, international research-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. We are an entrepreneurial specialist delivering true benefits to patients. By sustainably investing in research and development above the industrial average, we are committing to innovation in order to treat unmet medical needs and bring value-adding products to markets. Grünenthal is a fully integrated research & development company with a long track record of bringing innovative pain treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients. Altogether, the Grünenthal Group is present in 32 countries with affiliates in Europe, Latin America and the US. Grünenthal products are sold in more than 155 countries and approx. 5,400 employees are working for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2015, Grünenthal achieved revenues of € 1.2 bn. More information:

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.