WASHINGTON – Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representative David Trone (D-Md.) hailed the announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to award $945 million to reverse the opioid crisis through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative. The funds include a $6,354,906 grant for Gaithersburg-based company Emergent BioSolutions to develop a long-acting injectable treatment of opioid use disorder.
The HEAL Initiative provided funding across 41 states through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The trans-NIH research effort aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction. Trone previously worked to secure funding for the HEAL Initiative during the Appropriations process.
“As the opioid epidemic rages on, it becomes more and more clear that we need creative strategies to address it,” said Senator Cardin, senior member of the Senate Finance Health Subcommittee. “This significant federal investment builds on previous Congressional actions by providing resources to researchers nationwide, including at Emergent BioSolutions right here in Maryland, to develop innovative, long-acting treatments for the millions of Americans affected each year.”
“The opioid epidemic has scarred the lives of countless Maryland families. This funding is a crucial investment in fighting back and will go into important research to end addiction. I will continue working in Congress to fund these critical efforts,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees.
“If we are going to end the opioid epidemic we need to address it from every angle, including investing in innovative solutions through research,” said Rep. David Trone, founder of the House of Representatives’ Freshmen Working Group on Addiction. “After witnessing firsthand the work of both the NIH and Emergent BioSolutions, I know this investment will provide new solutions for those suffering from addiction. I am grateful to NIH Director Francis Collins and Emergent’s talented scientists for their service to our country.”
“We applaud the National Institutes of Health launch of its Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative,” said Robert G. Kramer Sr., president and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions. “At Emergent, our mission is to protect and enhance life. We are pleased with this opportunity to support a shared goal of making a meaningful impact on the opioid crisis by partnering to advance our product candidate to treat addiction in opioid use disorder. We will continue to seek opportunities to collaborate and remain committed to working with federal, state, and local governments and community organizations to help address this complex public health emergency.”