Full Summary — Medications Development for Opioid Use Disorders and Overdose Prevention and Reversal
Cutting Edge Science Meeting Series to End the Opioid Crisis
June 5, 2017
As part of a government-wide effort to address the opioid crisis, NIH is initiating a public-private collaborative research initiative on (1) new and innovative medications and biologics to treat opioid addiction and for overdose prevention and reversal; (2) safe, effective, and non-addictive strategies to manage chronic pain; and (3) neurobiology of chronic pain.
To identify the scientific strategies with the greatest potential for solutions to the opioid problem, NIH is bringing together innovative experts from government, industry, and academia for a series of three cutting-edge science meetings. NIH seeks to pursue new approaches and recruit additional expertise with the aim of developing new safe and effective therapeutics for opioid abuse and chronic pain in half the time it currently takes.
The first of these meetings was held on June 5, entitled Medications Development for Opioid Use Disorders and Overdose Prevention and Reversal. This meeting will be followed by meetings on June 16th, entitled Development of Safe, Effective, Non-Addictive Pain Treatments, and July 7th, entitled Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Pain.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), highlighted the urgency of the opioid crisis, and the high priority agencies throughout the federal government have placed on ending this crisis. This meeting is the first of three that are being convened to identify areas for a public private partnership recently initiated by NIH to address the opioid crisis. Dr. Collins and Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), published a Special Report in the New England Journal of Medicine to describe the initiative which focuses on three scientific areas:
- developing better overdose-reversal and prevention interventions to reduce mortality, saving lives for future treatment and recovery;
- finding new, innovative medications and technologies to treat opioid addiction; and
- finding safe, effective, nonaddictive interventions to manage chronic pain.
The goal of this initiative is to develop public private partnerships to cut in half the time to develop new treatments. NIH has successfully used this model to address other scientific priority areas. For example, the Accelerating Medicine Partnership with NIH, FDA, Foundation for NIH, and 10 pharma companies aims to develop treatments for three disease areas, with 50/50 contributions from government and industry for a total of $230 million over 5 years.
While this meeting is focused on what can be accomplished with a partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, NIH is still committed to research on behavioral treatments, and NIDA has a robust portfolio in this area. NIH aims to identify areas of opportunity for partnerships that will accelerate development of therapeutics for OUD and overdose prevention and reversal.