How Startups are Fighting the Opioid Crisis

The opioid pandemic has hit America hard with over 6 states declaring a state of emergency. The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports drug-related deaths in the US increased from 52,000 in 2015 to almost 64,000 in 2016. About 2/3 of the deaths were from opioid overdoses. The sad reality is that most of the opioid treatments may not be covered by your insurance company. Startups are however making efforts in addressing the opioid crisis in the US.

The two main treatments used in opioid addiction are buprenorphine that treats the addiction and naloxone for reversing overdoses. These are also not covered by a lot of insurance providers hence getting treatment for these two is an issue that startups are tackling in pleasantly innovative ways.


There are a lot of startups that are keen on fixing the opioid crisis or trying to address the pain-the primary cause of people getting hooked on opioids.

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals:
Founded in 2012 by Sheldon, this New-Jersey startup manufactures Probuphine which is implanted in addicts. It provides buprenorphine in low and steady doses. Their product, CAM2038, is a buprenorphine depot formulation that is administered as a subcutaneous injection.

This treatment is part and parcel of psychosocial and counseling support to the opioid patients. In order to ensure medication adherence and safe delivery, the treatment has to be handled by medical professionals.

The good news is that the treatment is already FDA approved.

Chrono Therapeutics:
In 2014, Guy DiPierro founded Chrono in California. This company has been developing a drug delivery transdermal wearable that is able to integrate drug-delivery which is biologically-timed with digital personalized support to aid addicts to manage their opioid dependency and addiction.

Already developed by Chrono is the nicotine patch that has data analytics, compliance measurements, and behavioral support achieved by digital reminders and embedded sensors which ensures the care team is well updated.

It is worth noting that these two products are still in the clinical trials stage.

CerSci Therapeutics:
Three faculty members from UT Dallas founded this startup in 2015. CerSci was awarded a discovery grant by NIH (the National Institutes of Health). The company’s first drug will have its clinical trials late this year.

SPR Therapeutics:
Based in Ohio, the startup’s PNS (Peripheral Nerve Stimulation) platform technology is able to treat acute and chronic pains. The company is also in the process of developing various neurostimulation pain treatments that will target musculoskeletal pain, post-surgery pain, and neuropathic pain.

Based in Washington, the company has developed natural and opioid-free therapeutics that act as powerful painkillers. Their leading treatment is venom-based from snails commonly found in the seas of the Caribbean.

Centrexion Therapeutics:
This company is based in Massachusetts and manufactures non-opioid drug treatments for chronic pain. By using their own STRATI technology, the startup created a capsaicin-based substitute.

Hinge Health:
Based in California, Hinge Health developed a device that is connected to their own software. This wearable device helps people suffering from musculoskeletal disorders manage their chronic pain.

This startup is based in California. The company came up with Iovera. This FDA-approved drug targets the patient’s pain directly.

Prospira PainCare:
Based in California, Prospira pain care services leverages a vast network of physicians who provide personalized care to individuals suffering from acute or chronic pain.

Apart from the aforementioned, there are many other startups focused on opioid addiction management. Evidently, the US is highly intent on combatting the opioid crisis in the country. The startups are greatly contributing to helping and hopefully eventually eradicating this stubborn epidemic. The best opiate rehab centers are collaborating with these and other startups to ensure that their patients receive the best possible and most effective opioid addiction treatment.

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