Using Tech to Combat Opioid Abuse

The Ohio Third Frontier has approved up to $20 million to advance new technologies in the battle against drug abuse and addiction. As part of a two pronged approach to accomplish this goal, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission in December approved $10 million to advance technologies ranging from pain management alternatives to new apps to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Companies addressing Ohio’s Opioid Abuse, Prevention and Treatment Technology Initiative receiving awards include:

  • Elysium Therapeutics, Inc. in California—Awarded $2,989,159 to commercialize a compound inhibiting opioid absorption when a person takes more than a prescribed dose
  • Sollis Therapeutics in Columbus—Awarded $2,000,000 to commercialize an implantable non-opioid, non-steroid drug device combination for treatment of sciatic nerve pain as an alternative to opioids
  • University of Akron—Awarded $2,000,000 to commercialize a degradable mesh for surgical use that releases a local anesthetic in place of oral opioids for managing post- operative pain
  • Cordata Healthcare Innovations in Cincinnati– Awarded $1,500,000 to use data and predictive analytics to improve the ability to anticipate high risk locations and improve the quality of intervention in cases of abuse and overdose
  • DeUmbra Inc. in Austin Texas– Awarded $860,678 to produce a web application that uses artificial intelligence to identify patterns in patient data that can alert physicians to how susceptible patients are to opioid addiction.


Another program, “Technology Validation and Start-Up Awards” provides grants to Ohio institutions of higher education and other nonprofit research institutions to see whether technologies developed by the institutions are commercially viable through activities such as testing and prototyping. The goal is to license the technologies to companies.

“Technology Validation and Start-Up Awards” went to Case Western Reserve University for $500,000, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation for $500,000, Ohio State University for $500,000 and to Ohio University for $200,000.

In addition, companies aiming to license institution-owned technologies also received funding to accelerate commercialization through activities such as market research and further prototyping. These companies included:

  • Enhale Medical Inc., ($160,000) to develop an implantable neurostimulation device to alleviate sleep apnea
  • Lentechs LLC ($150,000) for prototyping and testing unique soft contact lenses for people with age-related farsightedness
  • Sotera Medical Corp ($150,000) to develop a protective device to insert in the esophagus of patients undergoing treatment for atrial fibrillation
  • Ubihere Inc. ($100,000) to collect data to be able to precisely pinpoint the location of employees, equipment, or inventory


Go to for more information on the Technology Validation and Start-Up awards

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