Chronic Pain: a major unmet clinical need.

One in five adults suffers from chronic pain. This constitutes a major cause of long-term sick leave and forced early retirement, placing a great financial burden on both individuals and healthcare systems.Despite extensive research programmes by biopharmaceutical companies and academia, there remains a need for treatments that are more effective and with fewer side-effects.

    • 46,364 people surveyed across 16 Europe countries
    • 19% (i.e. 75m in Europe) suffer Chronic pain (pain for at least 6 months duration, several times a week, Pain intensity >5/10)
    • On average, sufferers live with chronic pain for 7 years (20% >20 years)
    • One third reported that their pain was so severe they could not tolerate any more
    • One in five reports losing a job or have been diagnosed with depression as a result of their pain
    • 36% have inadequate pain control from medication


What is EuroPain

Europain has established an international team of leading researchers and clinicians from both academia and industry to undertake multidisciplinary translational research. This team aims to increase the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms, help to develop novel analgesics, and develop better biomarkers for pain. Their ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people suffering from chronic pain.

The consortium network involves 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, Rigshospitalet Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, the SME Neuroscience Technologies from Barcelona, and the research resources and expertise of Europe’s most active pharmaceutical companies working in the field of analgesics, including Grünenthal (co-ordinator), AbbVie, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Lilly, Esteve, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB Pharma.

Expected outcomes

Our international team of leading researchers and clinicians, drawn from both academia and industry, is undertaking multidisciplinary translational research which will:

  1. increase the understanding of chronic pain mechanisms;
  2. facilitate the development of novel analgesic drugs;
  3. improve the treatment of chronic pain patients.



  • improve predictability in the development of new analgesics, by improving translational models in animals and humans
  • Improve, refine and when applicable develop more relevant new animal models of chronic pain – spontaneous (and evoked
  • Improve mechanistic disease understanding of the underlying mechanisms
  • Disease prevention: Understand why some people develop pain after injury
  • Support study design: Analyse and study the placebo effect
  • identification and quantification of existing biomarkers and explore novel pain mediators