Title : Medications Development for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Recent Advances, Ongoing Projects, and Funding Opportunities
For almost 30 years, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has supported development of medications for the treatment of substance use disorders and their consequences. Working in close partnership with the private sector and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), NIDA supports related research efforts through a series of NIDA-directed contracts as well as through investigator-initiated grants. Resulting FDA approvals to date include buprenorphine (Subutex) and buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) SL tablets for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), naltrexone (Vivitrol) monthly injection for the treatment of both OUD and alcohol use disorder, buprenorphine (Probuphine) implants for the treatment of OUD, naloxone nasal spray (nasal Narcan) for the treatment of opioid overdose, and lofexidine (Lucemyra) tablets for the treatment of opioid withdrawal. Building on the success of the initial buprenorphine products, recent private sector research has resulted in regulatory approvals for a monthly buprenorphine injection product (Sublocade) in the U.S. and a set of weekly and monthly buprenorphine injection products (Buvidal) in the E.U. and Australia.
The current opioid overdose crisis in the U.S. has stimulated new research to increase treatment options for OUD and opioid overdose patients, and to develop safer and/or less addictive analgesics. In addition, substantial resources are being directed toward the development of medications to treat stimulant (cocaine and methamphetamine) use disorders. Small drug molecules as well as immunologic (vaccine and monoclonal antibody) products are under evaluation.
Multiple funding opportunities are available for future medication development efforts. Researchers in the private sector as well as academia are eligible to apply for grants. In addition, NIDA has established a contract infrastructure the can facilitate the development of high priority compounds.