Small Business Programs
The Research Need
Addressing the current overdose crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach from all segments of the research community, including private enterprises. Funding from the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is available to eligible U.S. small businesses as part of the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs to provide science- and research-based solutions for the evolving opioid and pain public health challenges.
About the Program
The goal of NIH-funded SBIR/STTR programs is to encourage private-sector commercialization of technology and to increase small business participation in federally funded research and development activities. HEAL-funded SBIR/STTR projects focus specifically on developing innovative and commercializable technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat opioid use disorder and overdose, as well as to enhance pain management.
Research includes development of small molecules, antibodies, gene therapy, therapeutic and diagnostic devices, assays, and other technologies. Also of interest are projects developing digital health products, pain models, research tools, health information technology, as well as education/training-focused products and services.
To date, through the NIH HEAL Initiative, NIH has contributed $93.4 million through to fund this program.
Research examples supported by this program include:
- Developing instruments to measure the functional impact of chronic pain
- Creating a noninvasive brain stimulation strategy to treat addiction
- Developing a rapid screening, point-of-care test for neonatal infants
- Designing and optimizing novel, peripherally restricted peptide agonists for receptors involved in pain signaling