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BioMote for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Recovery

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44DA044905-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44DA044905
Amount: $2,975,413.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: DA19-019
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-31
Small Business Information
San Diego, CA 92130-6956
United States
DUNS: 082068934
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (619) 980-5782
Business Contact
Phone: (619) 980-5782
Research Institution

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are estimated to cause over $400 billion worth of monetary damage to the
US economy on an annual basis [1]. Recently, the misuse of heroin and prescription pain medications has
become a major public health concern, The number of deaths related to overdose from either heroin or
prescription pain medications has more than quadrupled over the last decade from approximately 16,000 in
2006 to more than 70,000 in 2017 [2]. With the rising overdose deaths and more than 3 million US citizens and
more than 16 million citizens worldwide suffering from opioid use disorders (OUD), opioid overdose was
declared a national emergency in the United States in 2017 [3].
CARI Therapeutics proposes to develop a continuous monitoring system based on an injectable biosensor,
approximately the size of a grain of rice, implanted subcutaneously that detects and monitors substance use by
products in the interstitial fluid. This continuous monitoring system not only has the potential to improve upon
the current screening capabilities by detecting a higher number of at-risk patients, but the data it will provide
doctors on substance use patterns over time will also enable them to more accurately diagnose the presence
and severity of substance use disorders. Furthermore, it will allow health care providers to treat patients more
effectively by giving them access to continuous monitoring data of their patients’ prescription pain medication
as well as street drug use. The current methods enable neither reliable substance use measurements over
time nor detection of newer agents where screening tests are not available. There is a critical need to not only
simplify data needed to detect substance use disorders, but to enable doctors to recommend or prescribe the
appropriate treatment, followed by measuring adherence to the treatment, thereby making it more effective. In
particular, there is a national opioid misuse epidemic with increasing overdose deaths [2], and the risk of
overdose among users has become even greater with the introduction of highly potent synthetic opioids that
require better detection methods than current urine drug screens [4].
A novel, minimally invasive, biosensor-based approach constitutes an innovative new way to detect substance
use, monitor patients and inform treatment solutions. Currently no other commercially available solutions exist
that can detect multiple substances and measure them continuously over time. In Phase I, we successfully
built a minimally invasive opioid BioMote based on a non-enzymatic assay that is highly selective, sensitive,
accurate, and stable in solution and serum and showed excellent catalytic response to two types of opioids:
morphine and fentanyl. In Phase II, we will begin the FDA approval process (Aim 1), expand the lifetime and
functionality of the biosensor to include detection of synthetic opioids (Aim 2), develop a reliable and safe
deployment and extraction procedure (Aim 3), and validate the accuracy, safety, and reliability of the device in
animal and human testing (Aim 4).PROJECT NARRATIVE
There is no effective standard commercial method for detecting opioid use, and the ineffective nature of current
substance use detection and monitoring tools, which at present consist of self-reporting and intermittent point-
in-time testing of urine or blood samples, neither of which captures substance use over time nor allows for
detection of newer synthetic opioids, has contributed to a growing opioid use epidemic. This Phase II project
proposes to expand the functionality of a successfully developed implantable biosensor capable of detecting
morphine and fetenyl to include detection of synthetic opioids and begin work to prepare the device for clinical
studies and FDA approval. This biosensor will be the first stage in the development of a continuous detection
and monitoring solution that can eventually detect mild, moderate or severe substance use and will provide
treating clinicians with objective, continuous substance use data over time, which they can use to screen for at-
risk patients, dose medication more precisely, conduct more effective safety planning, and prevent medication
diversion for each patient, which would ultimately reduce relapse rates and improve overall treatment

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

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