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Modular Adaptive Virtual Reality Intervention for Clinical Substance use disorder (MAVRICS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41DA053878-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41DA053878
Amount: $311,580.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: PAR22-073
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-08-31
Small Business Information
Lake Orion, MI 48360-1821
United States
DUNS: 031313862
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (817) 272-3181
Business Contact
Phone: (248) 762-9711
Research Institution
701 S NEDDERMAN DR., BOX 19145
ARLINGTON, TX 76019-0145
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a chronic, recurring condition that if left untreated, poses a significant
and ongoing public health threat. OUD is associated with significant impairments in physical and
psychological health including increased mortality and high utilization of emergency medical care as well as
increased risk of Hepatitis C and HIV infection and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). OUD is also
associated with increased justice and child welfare systems involvement. Currently, the number of empirically
supported behavioral interventions for the treatment of OUDs is limited, the majority of which cannot be tailored
(customized) to meet the unique needs of the individual client. As such, the relapse rate for individuals with
OUDs remains high.
Virtual reality cue exposure (VRCE) has shown considerable promise in addressing substance craving, one of
the most salient components of OUD. Through repeated exposure to substance use cues within a controlled
virtual environment, over time these virtual exposures weaken the relationship between substance use cues
and craving, potentially leading to decreased substance use and lower probability of substance relapse.
Unfortunately, currently available commercial VR products lack the essential ability to easily and repeatedly
update exposure environments to introduce novelty or incorporate new or evolving substance use cues. This
limitation results in less user engagement over time, potentially leading to user disengagement and premature
treatment termination.
Through the R41 project titled “Modular Adaptive Virtual Reality Intervention for Clinical Substance use
disorder (MAVRICS)”, the research aims to improve upon currently available commercial virtual reality (VR)
products designed to address substance misuse by developing a novel subscription-based software product
(Helix) that supports ongoing customization of virtual reality-based cue exposure (VRCE) environments
resulting in a tailored intervention addressing substance craving. Through the I-Corp program, the commercial
potential for Helix will be further explored and five hypotheses pertaining to various commercial aspect of Helix
will be tested through a series of interviews with potential customers and experts in the field of OUD treatment.PROJECT NARRATIVE
Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a chronic, recurring condition that if left untreated, poses a significant and
ongoing public health threat. This research aims to improve upon current behaviorally based methods of
treating OUD by developing and testing a novel Virtual Reality Cue Exposure (VRCE) software tool, Helix, and
further analyzing its commercial potential. The Helix software creates user specific, tailored VRCE experiences
to be used in residential and outpatient treatment settings for the acute treatment of OUD, or to support
ongoing relapse prevention.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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