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StartScienceNIAAA Fosters Innovation Via Its Small Enterprise Analysis Program – Nationwide Institute...

NIAAA Fosters Innovation Via Its Small Enterprise Analysis Program – Nationwide Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) and Small Enterprise Know-how Switch Analysis (STTR) program helps the event and commercialization of modern instruments, applied sciences, and methods. The Nationwide Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) SBIR/STTR program goals to enhance the analysis, prevention, and remedy—in addition to restoration from—alcohol-related issues. The SBIR/STTR program enhances NIAAA’s analysis portfolio throughout the spectrum of fundamental, translational, and scientific analysis. This portfolio contains analysis on drugs growth, alcohol biosensors, screening and diagnostic instruments, academic sources, cellular apps, and extra.

“Established by Congress as a federal-wide effort, the SBIR/STTR program is a crucial part of the NIAAA analysis portfolio, with set-aside funds to advance modern options out of the laboratory into mainstream use,” displays NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D.

What Makes the SBIR/STTR Program Distinctive?

The SBIR/STTR program is often known as America’s Seed Fund. It gives help to early-stage small companies to satisfy the nation’s analysis and growth wants in a way that stimulates innovation, encourages entrepreneurship, and contributes to the nationwide economic system. In flip, these analysis and growth efforts improve the chance that publicly supported private-sector analysis positive factors might be commercialized for the advantage of the American folks.

“The SBIR/STTR program gives an incentive for researchers who’ve modern concepts and have accomplished profitable R01 grants to check out being an entrepreneur. It de-risks the transition from academia to small enterprise possession,” provides Megan Ryan, M.B.A., who has served as NIAAA’s SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator since 2016.

Prioritizing undertaking help is crucial for early-stage small enterprise viability. All through the years, small companies have leveraged the help offered by the SBIR/STTR program to advance merchandise that present promise however are deemed a decrease precedence given restricted sources.

An instance is the event of Vivitrol, a long-acting, injectable type of naltrexone that acquired U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for alcohol use dysfunction (AUD) remedy in 2006. Alkermes, on the time a small enterprise biopharmaceutical firm specializing in drug supply know-how, was awarded an NIAAA SBIR contract in 2000 to conduct proof-of-concept and efficacy scientific trials of Vivitrol. The SBIR award successfully took the danger out of growth and helped Alkermes leverage the award to boost further monetary help and conduct bigger scientific trials, in the end offering the information wanted for FDA approval.

Rising the Visibility of the NIAAA SBIR/STTR Program

Lately, NIAAA has targeted on enhancing its SBIR/STTR portfolio. This effort has largely targeted on elevating consciousness of NIAAA’s SBIR/STTR program and educating entrepreneurs on the way to apply for an NIAAA SBIR/STTR award.

To perform this, Ms. Ryan teamed up with a advertising firm that makes a speciality of science and healthcare to broaden NIAAA’s outreach about its SBIR/STTR program. Collectively, they developed new outreach supplies, expanded the NIAAA SBIR/STTR web site, and held informational webinars with small enterprise incubators and “state bios.” State bios are organizations that convey collectively a state’s bioscience firms, universities, analysis establishments, and others devoted to advancing life science analysis and commercialization. These efforts contributed to a 33 p.c improve within the complete variety of SBIR/STTR purposes acquired by NIAAA inside a 12 months. Regardless of analysis setbacks widespread within the COVID-19 pandemic, NIAAA has continued to obtain an elevated variety of SBIR/STTR purposes.

“These outcomes display the significance of outreach to potential candidates, which is able to stay a spotlight of NIAAA’s SBIR/STTR program shifting ahead,” says Jenica Patterson, Ph.D., NIAAA’s incoming SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator.

NIAAA SBIR/STTR Program Precedence Highlights

One of many program priorities of the NIAAA SBIR/STTR program is creating wearable biosensors to detect the quantity of alcohol a person has consumed. Researchers are utilizing modern methods to enhance the accuracy of the units in addition to their wearability. This work will enable researchers to higher measure alcohol consumption in scientific analysis research and remedy settings.

One other precedence is the event of recent drugs to deal with alcohol-related penalties and circumstances, resembling AUD, alcohol-associated organ injury (AAOD), alcohol withdrawal, and alcohol overdose. An instance of an NIAAA-supported SBIR undertaking, led by Felix Moser, Ph.D., at Synlife Bio, is the event of a novel therapeutic injection to counteract alcohol overdose. Billions of {dollars} are spent yearly to deal with alcohol overdose instances, lots of which lead to loss of life—but there aren’t any FDA-approved pharmacological therapies. NIAAA’s dedication to creating new drugs is emphasised by a current SBIR/STTR funding announcement, and is a crucial step in bridging the hole between fundamental analysis and scientific trials.

Bettering diagnostics for AAOD is one other space of curiosity for NIAAA’s SBIR/STTR program. For instance, InLighta BioSciences, an organization began by Jenny Yang, Ph.D., has developed a novel distinction agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that considerably improves diagnostic potential for circumstances resembling liver illness. In contrast to conventional distinction brokers, this agent is non-toxic and may detect early levels of illness. From the start, this know-how was poised to supply a non-invasive early diagnostic software for liver illness—a illness during which alcohol misuse is a serious danger issue. In the USA, almost half of liver illness deaths are related to alcohol misuse.

NIAAA’s SBIR/STTR program additionally helps the event of alcohol prevention packages, academic providers, behavioral remedy packages, and digital well being applied sciences. In one ongoing NIAAA-supported scientific trial, DynamiCare Well being is testing a smartphone-based digital teaching program to help accessible and inexpensive long-term restoration from AUD. This system is predicated on behavioral methods resembling contingency administration, restoration teaching, and cognitive behavioral remedy.

Be taught Extra

For extra details about the NIAAA SBIR/STTR program, go to the NIAAA SBIR/STTR web site.


NIAAA SBIR/STTR Program. Out there at Accessed March 16, 2022.

NIH. A liposomal enzyme system for removing of ethanol from the blood. Out there at Accessed March 16, 2022.

NIH. Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling and Early-Stage Growth of Drugs to Deal with Alcohol Use dysfunction and Alcohol-Related Organ Harm (U43/U44 Scientific Trial Elective). Out there at Accessed March 16, 2022.

Salarian, M; Xue, S.; Ibhagui, O.Y.; and Yang, J.J. Designing calcium-binding proteins for molecular MR imaging. Strategies in Molecular Biology. 2019;1929:111–125. PMID: 30710270

NIH. Detecting and staging of liver fibrosis by exact MRI (pMRI). Out there at Accessed Might 2, 2022.

Nationwide Library of Medication. Tech-Enabled CM for AUD at Scale in Medicaid. Out there at Accessed March 16, 2022.

This text first appeared in NIAAA Spectrum.

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