California-based start-up, CARI Health, has received a $2.8 million fast-track grant in order to bring its wearable medication monitor to market in the US.
CARI Health was awarded the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in hopes of using remote monitoring and wearable tech to help curb overdose rates and drug abuse.
The grant is set to payout across three years as project milestones are completed within Phase I and Phase II portions of the grant.
A subdivision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIDA is keen to see the device used as a means of ensuring compliance with methadone users and increasing rates of drug addiction recovery across the country.
CARI Health CEO, Patrik Schmidle, said: “Wearable remote monitoring is a convenient and patient-friendly way to demonstrate methadone treatment compliance remotely.
“Under today’s standard of care, especially in the beginning of methadone treatment, patients have to show up almost daily for clinic visits, which creates a significant barrier to begin and remain in treatment.”
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The company has said that the $2.8 million will be put towards a series of clinical studies and that the firm has already received investment from a number of groups, including the Cedars Sinai Accelerator programme.
Schmidle added: “This NIDA grant will support CARI Health’s product development as we build on the success of our efforts to date.
“And once our product is ready to be deployed in human studies, the funds will help us conduct those human trials.”
At present CARI Health is conducting one clinical trial in the indication. Dubbed, ‘Assessing Dose Taken in Opioid Use Disordered Patients with an Electrochemical Sensor’, the observational trial is set to finish in May of 2024.