Overview

More effective medications for pain are needed, but poorly predictive animal models, changes in biopharmaceutical industry focus, and perceived regulatory and reimbursement concerns have made research challenging. Through a suite of targeted research efforts, the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, will accelerate the discovery and preclinical development of new medications and devices to treat pain.

Open Funding Opportunities

2022
Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for HEAL Initiative Integrated Basic and Clinical Team-based Research in Pain (RM1 Clinical Trial Optional)
Jul 29, 2022
2021
HEAL Initiative: Planning Studies for Initial Analgesic Development [Small Molecules and Biologics] (R61 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jun 08, 2021
2022
HEAL Initiative: Translational Development of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Devices (R18 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Aug 23, 2022
2022
Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Clinical Translation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Devices via Blueprint MedTech
Aug 03, 2022
2022
HEAL Initiative: Interdisciplinary Team Science to Uncover the Mechanisms of Pain Relief by Medical Devices (RM1 Clinical Trial Optional)
Aug 01, 2022

Research Programs

The Discovery and Validation of Novel Targets for Safe and Effective Treatment of Pain program is validating novel therapeutic targets using a variety of methods and model systems, including within the druggable genome/proteome. These targets can be applied to future translational research to accelerate development of effective non-addictive medications for pain as well as reduce reliance on opioids.

The Preclinical Screening Platform for Pain (PSPP) program is creating a preclinical testing platform to identify and profile non-addictive therapeutics for pain. This platform will be instrumental in transitioning HEAL preclinical research into clinical programs.

The Translational Research to Advance Testing of Novel Drugs and Human Cell-Based Screening Platforms to Treat Pain and Opioid Use Disorder program supports research to develop accurate research models that reflect human pain biology. These models are being used to identify potential new therapies and accelerate studies of novel small molecule and biologic drug candidates for testing in humans.

The Development and Optimization of Non-Addictive Therapies to Treat Pain program supports preclinical optimization and development of safe, effective, and non-addictive small molecule and biologic therapeutics to treat pain.  This research aims to advance promising small molecules and biologic agents toward eligibility for Phase 1 clinical trials.

The Translating Discoveries into Effective Devices to Treat Pain program advances device-based treatments for people who currently have no effective ways to manage their pain. Research is analyzing mechanisms underlying device-based pain relief. The program supports target identification, late-stage translational therapeutic and diagnostic device development, verification and validation activities, and early clinical studies.

The Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (Re-JOIN) seeks to acquire an integrated, holistic understanding of joint innervation. This interdisciplinary research will identify and study all the types of neurons present in joint tissues and structures.

Funded Projects

2022
Novel Genetically Encoded Inhibitors to Probe Functional Logic of Cav-Beta Molecular Diversity
Sep 15, 2022
2022
Discovery of Novel Openers of the Understudied Human Drug Target Kir6.1
Sep 15, 2022
2022
The Role of Lysosomal Mechano-Sensitive Ion Channel in Pain
Sep 15, 2022
2022
Erythrocyte Autophagy Proteins as Potential Non-Opioid Novel Targets for Pain in Sickle Cell Disease
Sep 15, 2022
2022
G Alpha Z Subunit as a Potential Therapeutic Target to Modulate Mu Opioid Receptor Pharmacology
Sep 15, 2022

Closed Funding Opportunities

2019
HEAL Initiative: Translational Devices to Treat Pain (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Optional)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
Optimization of Non-addictive Therapies [Small Molecules and Biologics] to Treat Pain (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
Analytical and/or Clinical Validation of a Candidate Biomarker for Pain (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
HEAL Initiative: Notice of Interest in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Applications Directed at Enhanced Pain Management and Improved Treatments for Opioid Misuse and Addiction
Sep 25, 2019
2019
HEAL Initiative: Translational Devices to Treat Pain (U44 Clinical Trial Optional)
Sep 25, 2019

Collaboration Opportunities for Developing Drugs and Human Cell-Based Testing Platforms for Pain, Addiction and Overdose

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National Institutes of Health, Office of Extramural Research. Grants & Funding. NIH's central resource for grants and funding information.

Collaboration Opportunities for Developing Drugs and Human Cell-Based Testing Platforms for Pain, Addiction and Overdose

The NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, seeks to speed scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis.

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