Expanded treatment options for opioid use disorder (OUD) are needed to promote long-term recovery in more patients. The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, will accelerate the development of novel medications and devices to treat all aspects of the opioid addiction cycle, including progression to chronic use, withdrawal symptoms, craving, relapse, and overdose.

Research Programs

To comprehensively address opioid addiction, the NIH HEAL Initiative will support the development of new formulations of existing medications to treat OUD; longer-duration formulations to counteract opioid overdose; interventions for respiratory depression; and novel medications to treat progression to chronic use, withdrawal, craving, and relapse.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will support the creation of a coordinated, multidisciplinary consortium to develop anti-opioid vaccines and test them in clinical trials. These vaccines will induce antibodies that bind specifically to target opioids, reducing their effects and offering protection from overdose.

Funded Projects

2021
Development of cannabinoid-opioid combination with opioid sparing and synergistic analgesic effects to prevent opioid use disorder and overdose
Oct 12, 2021
2021
Non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation in opioid use disorders
Sep 25, 2021
2021
Development of a novel OTC naloxone product to be affordably priced and widely accessible
Sep 20, 2021
2021
Preclinical Development of Novel Dual OXR/KOR Antagonists for Treatment of Substance Use Disorder
Sep 20, 2021
2021
CVL-354, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist for treatment of opioid use disorder, withdrawal and relapse
Sep 20, 2021

Closed Funding Opportunities

2021
HEAL initiative: Pharmacotherapies to Reverse Opioid Overdose Induced Respiratory Depression Without Central Opioid Withdrawal (Target Validation and Candidate Therapeutic Development) (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
Sep 30, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: Novel Targets for Opioid Use Disorders and Opioid Overdose (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jul 06, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: Novel Targets for Opioid Use Disorders and Opioid Overdose (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jul 06, 2021
2020
HEAL Initiative: Pharmacotherapies to Reverse Opioid Overdose Induced Respiratory Depression without Central Opioid Withdrawal (Target Validation and Candidate Therapeutic Development (R61/R33 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jan 24, 2020
2019
NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Sep 25, 2019