NanoMedical Systems has received a nearly $3 million grant from the Department of Defense to develop a combination device for the long-term treatment of opioid use.
The grant provides $2,993,398 over three years to support formulation development, device development and manufacturing, preclinical studies, and initial human factors assessments in conjunction with the DeBakey, VA Medical Center in Houston, TX.
The Austin-based company develops drug-delivery devices based on its nStrada nanofluidics platform for sustained release (up to six months) of chronic therapies. These devices can be loaded with a variety of drugs including small molecules, peptides, and proteins for subcutaneous implantation.
NanoMedical Systems drug delivery system could be ideal to combat opioid use because it could easily deliver buprenorphine to patients. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician’s office. Buprenorphine can be dispensed for take home use, by prescription.
A Nov. 2017 Reuters article reported Centers for Disease Control data that pointed out more than 64,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid overdoses in a 12-month period.
“Obviously opioid abuse is a national epidemic right now,” Yash Sabharwal, president and CEO of Nano Medical Systems, told MD+DI. “This is a major problem for the Veterans Administration. They’re very keen on finding new solutions that takes the burden off the system and helps the patient.”
NanoMedical Systems was founded in 2006 and Sabharwal came on in 2017 to help with the commercialization of some the technology.
The firm will focus on getting the combination device into Phase II trials. Sabharwal said beyond that it was NanoMedical Systems’ hope that a pharmaceutical company would join the effort to commercialize the device.
“The molecule itself is readily available,” Sabharwal said. “The nice thing about it is its safety profile is well understood and there’s even guidance from FDA regarding developing drugs with this API. The special grant puts us on a very solid path to development to commercialization.”