About us

Innopain is a biopharmaceutical company, based in Clermont Ferrand (France), focused on discovering and developing new chemical entities, first-in-class analgesic drugs, to treat pain, without inducing many of the side effects associated with current therapies.

Our ambition is to develop innovative compounds to reach the human proof of concept (clinical trials phase 2) of efficacy and safety for moderate to severe acute and chronic pain.

The development of these compounds, TREK-1 agonists, is the result of our world-class research in pharmacology and medicinal chemistry especially on the involvement of TREK-1 and its direct activation, acting downstream from the µ-opioid receptor (µOR), having strong analgesic effects without opioid-like adverse effects.

Michel Pautrat

Michel Pautrat

President & CEO, formerly founder and President of a CRO Creapharm. Michel had earlier spent many years in international executive positions with Big Pharma companies. He earned an MBA at Harvard following economics post graduate studies in France.

Antoine Dumeige

Antoine Dumeige

Project manager, Antoine was chemical engineer at Innopain before he was promoted to project manager. He graduated from ENSCR (Ecole National Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes) after participating in the preclinical development of an API.

Jean Deregnaucourt

Jean Deregnaucourt

CSO, was previously in charge of the Licensing Department at Institut Pasteur, had been CSO at Pierre Fabre and Development SVP at Rhône Poulenc Rorer. Jean is a Veterinary Doctor.

Scientific Board

This team is backed by a Scientific Advisory Board of top performing experts with complementary expertise in :

Innopain maintains close scientific collaboration with the specialized Analgesia labs where the project originated in order to keep up to date on the advancements in the domain of pain.



Today, morphine remains the treatment of reference for severe acute or chronic pains. Its analgesic effect is often accompanied by adverse side effects such as constipation, respiratory depression, and dependence.
This opioid drug produces its pharmacological action by interacting with the μ-opioid receptor (μOR).

TREK-1, a new target to treat pain

Pharmacologists from Professor Eschalier team (Neurodol – UMR 1107 Inserm Université d’Auvergne)  and Professor Lazundski & Lesage team (IPMC UMR7275) reported that the beneficial and adverse effects of morphine could be dissociated by demonstrating that TREK-1 contributed to the analgesic effect of morphine but not to its adverse side effects.

These observations suggest that direct activation of the TREK-1 channel by acting downstream from μOR might have a strong analgesic effect without opioid-ligand adverse effects

In vivo they have demonstrated that analgesia is the direct result of activating the TREK-1 potassium channel.
This significant discovery was published in Nature in 2013 after securing a patent covering the screening for pain of TREK and TRAK agonists(1).
In addition, the team’s chemists have (Professor Sylvie Ducki) synthesized a family of agonists NCEs which are protected by a second patent.

Further development has enabled the identification of a lead compound coded RNE 28 which shows promising in vivo activity and safety(2)(3).

Innopain has an exclusive worldwide license of these two patents and our mission is to develop this innovative approch to treat pain, acute and chronic.

Deliver innovative medicines

Innopain develops original analgesics to replace morphine without its side effects.
The objective of Innopain is to reach the Proof Of Concept for intravenous and oral administration, for acute and chronic pain. Our strategy is to quickly reach these POC with an optimized development plan.
Since the beginning of Innopain (August 2015) we have focused on 3 main steps: drug substance development, validation of the efficiency in animals, safety of compound in animal models and absence of side effects like constipation, dependency and addiction.

Learn more about our results and develoment plan

RNE28 is a new chemical entity, for intravenous and oral administration, susceptible to be the first representative of a new class of analgesic drugs. Innopain aims to develop this major pharmacological innovation from preclinical to clinical Phase II and to demonstrate safety and efficacy in human.

(1) Activation of TREK-1 by morphine results in analgesia without adverse side effects - Nature Communications|4:2941|DOI: 10.1038, 2013 - Maıly Devilliers, Jérôme Busserolles, Stéphane Lolignier, Emmanuel Deval, Vanessa Pereira, Abdelkrim Alloui, Marine Christin, Bruno Mazet, Patrick Delmas, Jacques Noel, Michel Lazdunski & Alain Eschalier

(2) Synthesis and structure- activity relationhip study of substituted caffeate esters as antinociceptive agents modulating the TREK-1 chanel. - Europenan Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 75 391-402,2014 - Nuno Rodriguez, Khalili Bennis, Delphine Vivier, Vanessa Pereira, Franck C Chatelain, Eric Chapuy, Hemantkumar Deokar, Jérôme Busserolles, Florian Lesage, Alain Eschalier, Sylvie Ducki.

(3) Development of the First Two-Pore Domain Potassium Channel TWIK-Related K+ Channel 1 Selective Agonist Possessing in Vivo Antinociceptive Activity - Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 60, 1076-1088, 2017 - Delphine Vivier,Ismail Ben Soussia, Nuno Rodrigues, Stéphane Lolignier, Maïly Devilliers, Franck C. Chatelain, Laetitia Prival, Eric Chapuy, Geoffrey Bourdier, Khalil Bennis, Florian Lesage, Alain Eschalier, Jérôme Busserolles and Sylvie Ducki

Innopain, First in class analgesics

An innovative positioning

New pharmacological target :TREK-1

Non opiod first-in-class NCE

Opioid Crisis

Every day more than 90 Americans die from opioid misuse and addiction

Major Public Health Issue

Acute and chronic pain is responsible of 90% of medical consultations

Chronic pain affects over 1,5 billion people worldwide


To develop new analgesic drugs for patient benefit

Innovative pharmacological approach

To treat acute and chronic pain


Optim’Dol is a program which benefits of a partial financing from European FEDER (Fonds Européen de Développement Régional)

This program fits within one of the strategic innovation domains supported by the region Auvergne Rhone Alpes, i.e. the prevention and treatment of pain. This region regroups within the Analgesia cluster several university research teams in pharmacology and chemistry, and private companies which have been collaborating for several years in the field of pain, notably to develop new innovative drug candidates. These collaborations have led to the creation of the Analgesia Institute, which has been certified by the French Research Ministry (MESR) as a research foundation. Indeed, this recognizes the expertise gathered over 20 years in the analysis and approaches of pain pathologies, and of the public-private collaborations initiated over the last 8 years. Optim’dol regroups 2 companies, ANS Biotech and Innopain, and 2 research teams Neurodol-Auvergne University for pharmacology   and ICCF-Sigma University for chemistry all part of Analgesia Institute. The objective of the program, through this multidisciplinary collaboration, is to design and develop new analgesic non opioid chemical entities to treat acute and chronic moderate to severe pain.

This includes:

  • Design and development of NCEs, back up of the chemical series currently being developed, agonists of the pharmacological TREK target, in order to replace morphine an opioid derivates as powerful analgesic avoiding the side effects of opiates. The objective is to obtain 5 NCEs well characterized and ready to move into regulatory preclinical development.
  • The development and qualification of different pain pharmacological tests on mice which together will permit primary screening of molecules for pain treatment. The objective is to offer 3 kits, part of a logical pathway, in order to optimize the screening.

This program takes advantage of complementary expertise: research of each member will enrich the joint program, cross feeding to speed the development of new qualified NCEs and pharmacological services. Innopain shall interface with ANS to screen the molecules issued from the works of ICCF and Neurodol. ANS shall be in in a position to further qualify the tests initiated by Neurodol applied to the Innopain’s molecules and to offer optimized preclinical services to potential clients.

This synergy of expertise, applied to market needs, will contribute to progress and speed up preclinical research.

The financial subsidy obtained for this program comes from FEDER and is linked to Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare S3 (2016-2018): optimization of drug candidates for pain treatment.



2018 BIO International Convention: we were there

2018 BIO International Convention: we were there


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NETVA 2017: Innopain is selected!

NETVA 2017: Innopain is selected!


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2017 BIO International Convention: we were there


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Pain therapeutic May 2017

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Innopain, lauréat I-lab 2016

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Biopôle Clermont Limagne
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