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.  

Program Details

Through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, NIH has awarded numerous grants to small businesses that are administered by multiple NIH Institutes and Centers.

Research Examples

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 

  • Arrevus, Inc. – North Carolina 
  • Beacon Tech, Inc. – Maryland 
  • Emitech, Inc. – Massachusetts  
  • Hillmed, Inc. – Texas 
  • Mindlight, LLC – Massachusetts  
  • Olfax, LLC – North Carolina 
  • Opalgenix, Inc. – Indiana 
  • Opio Connect, Inc. – Montana  
  • Public Health Management Corporation – Pennsylvania 
  • Relate XR LLC – Indiana 
  • We the Village, Inc. – New York 

Funded Projects

Development and Evaluation of Computerized Chemosensory-Based Orbitofrontal Networks Training for Treatment of Pain (CBOT-P)
Oct 01, 2022
Pre-clinical Validation of Phase II Peptide LRP-1 Agonist to Treat and Prevent Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
Oct 01, 2022
Novel Biologic to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain
Oct 01, 2022
Injectable Ice Slurry Cooling Technology for Treatment of Postoperative Pain
Oct 01, 2022
Wearable Sensor for Opioids Detection Based on Electrochemical Sensor Array Integrated with Bluetooth Device
Sep 19, 2022