Research areas

Orion develops new pharmaceuticals in three therapy areas. Orion’s pharmaceutical R&D focuses on the central nervous system, cancer and critical care, and inhalable Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs. Orion also develops veterinary and generic drugs. 

Central nervous system medicines

The central nervous system therapy area includes drugs for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases and pain medicines with a central mode of action. The latter include drugs for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Medicinal substances for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease have long been focus areas of Orion’s R&D. Orion’s most successful proprietary drugs, Comtess® and Stalevo®, are the result of these research projects.


Orion oncology develops novel proprietary drugs for the treatment of cancer. Orion’s oncology research and development has a long history with top expert professionals in the field. The first proprietary drug, Fareston® , has been on market for breast cancer already since 1988.

While endocrine regulated cancers continue to be an important focus for Orion cancer research, Orion has expanded its research activities to include also other types of cancer and supportive treatments for cancer patients.

Inhalable drugs

Developed and patented by Orion, Easyhaler® is an environmentally friendly and easy-to-use inhaler (dry powder inhaler). Orion aims to expand the product family of inhalable Easyhaler® drugs used for treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Easyhaler® technology can also be used in the R&D of new proprietary drugs.

Animal health

Orion’s  veterinary product development utilises expertise in its own therapy areas and formulation technology, and its human drug and formulation innovations when new therapies and treatment methods are being developed for animals.

Generic drugs

To balance its operations, Orion simultaneously develops and co-develops several new generic medicinal substances in collaboration with its partners. A generic drug is a drug that contains the same active pharmaceutical ingredient as a corresponding proprietary product that no longer has patent protection.

The development of generic drugs is more simple and economical than the development of proprietary drugs since the necessary studies on the active ingredient have already been carried out.

The development of generics usually takes two to three years.