What if you could start a medication today, and then forget about it for a whole year, while still receiving its health benefits? That’s the kind of technology that a California biotech company is developing to treat opioid addiction.
Like many diseases, opioid use disorder (OUD) can be treated successfully with medications. In the U.S., naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone are all approved for treating OUD and involve taking medicine every day or receiving a monthly injection. The challenge of taking these medications on a regular schedule can make adherence to treatment difficult for many people with opioid addiction. This puts patients at risk for relapse and overdose.
Delpor, a biotech company based in Brisbane, California, is using funding from the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or the NIH HEAL Initiative®, to work on a technology that would provide a longer-lasting delivery system for naltrexone. The company is developing a titanium implant that goes under the skin, where it slowly and steadily releases medication into the body for a year. Delpor’s aim is to give patients more options and make it easier for them to stay on treatment long enough to achieve long-term recovery from the disease.
The NIH HEAL Initiative is taking on the opioid crisis from all angles, including by supporting research at private companies like Delpor that focus on making medication for addiction treatments easier for patients to use. Delpor’s grant is through the National Institute on Drug Abuse.