In the nation’s continuing battle to overcome opioid misuse and addiction, Huntsville’s Serina Therapeutics has won funding from the National Institutes of Health to support its research on a new one-dose painkiller for post-operative patients.
The drug, SER-227, “is a polymer conjugate of buprenorphine that can be administered in the recovery room by a surgeon or anesthesiologist to provide immediate and prolonged pain relief over a period of 3-5 days,” Serina says in announcing the grant award. “The prolonged nature of release of buprenorphine is designed to prevent the need to use potentially addictive opioids such as morphine in the immediate post-op period.”
“This is a very important initial step in getting this new and promising medication into patients who need treatment for post-operative pain,” said Dr. Tacey Viega, COO at Serina and protect director and co-investigator
The two-year award to Serena, which is one of the many research company’s located at Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is part of the NIH Healing to End Addiction Long-Term, or Heal Initiative. NIH awarded 375 grants across 41 states.
Health care statistics cited show that chronic pain affected some 50 million U.S. adults in 2016 and that some 10.3 million people 12 and older misused opioids, including heroin, in 2018.
“We are grateful to the NINDS and NIH Heal Initiative for supporting research that will address the opioid crisis in America,” said Randall Moreadith, Serina’s CEO and co-investigator.