Northeast Ohio companies among recipients of $10 million for anti-opioid technologies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A medical device that releases local anesthetic as an alternative to opioids and a web-based hotline to support people in recovery were among proposals that will receive economic development funds to fight the state’s opioid epidemic, a state agency announced Thursday.

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved $10 million to advance technologies that will battle drug abuse and addiction. Gov. John Kasich, during this year’s State of the State address, announced that ultimately $20 million will be made available to combat the drug problem.

The commission awarded the following recipients money, according to a statement:  

  • The University of Akron was awarded $2 million to commercialize a degradable mesh for surgical use that releases a local anesthetic in place of oral opioids for managing post-operative pain.
  • Cleveland-based Sober First, doing business as Ascent, snagged $464,000 to bring a web-based, 24-hour hotline for people in recovery.
  • Innovative Medical Equipment in Lyndhurst will receive $177,000 to work on a thermoelectric device that will deliver targeted heating and cooling therapy as a substitute for opioids in treating chronic and post-operative pain.
  • Cordata Healthcare Innovations in Cincinnati was awarded $1.5 million to use data and analytics to improve the quality of intervention in cases of abuse and overdose.
  • DeUmbra in Austin, Texas, will receive $860,000 to produce a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to alert physicians to how susceptible patients are to opioid addiction. 
  • Elysium Therapeutics, of Danville, California, was awarded nearly $3 million to commercialize a compound inhibiting opioid absorption when a person takes more than a prescribed dose.
  • Columbus-based Sollis Therapeutics will get $2 million to commercialize an implantable non-opioid, non-steroid drug-device combination for treatment of sciatic nerve pain as an alternative to opioids. 

Third Frontier money will also go to companies that aim to license technologies owned by universities and other institutions. The money will get the technology to the marketplace faster, the statement said:

  • Cleveland-based Enhale Medical was awarded $150,000 to develop an implantable neurostimulation device to alleviate sleep apnea.
  • Sotera Medical in Cleveland will get $150,000 to develop a temporary device that is inserted in the esophagus of patients undergoing treatment for atrial fibrillation.
  • Columbus-based Ubihere was awarded $100,000 to produce a beta version of its technology for precisely pinpointing the location of employees, equipment or inventory.
  • Lentechs in Columbus received $150,000 to test unique soft contact lenses for people with age-related farsightedness. 

Furthermore, Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio State University and Ohio University will each receive between $200,000 to $500,000 in grants to explore whether technologies they develop are commercially viable, the statement said.

Source : http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2017/12/northeast_ohio_companies_among.html

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