Highland Instruments, Inc. received additional funding from the NIH for studies of opioid use disorder.

BOSTON, November 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Highland Instruments (Highland) recently received additional funding through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue its studies funded by the Small Business Innovative Research Grant ( SBIR) focusing on Electrosonic Stimulation (ESStim™) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)1. Phase I trial work was conducted at University of Illinois at Chicago and case Western University at Cleveland. Phase I studies were successfully completed in the summer of 2022. Work is now progressing towards Phase II. The work is funded as part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term®, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, an aggressive, cross-agency effort to accelerate science-based solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis.2.

Founded by Harvard and MIT researchers, Highland is currently developing Electrosonic Stimulation (ESStim™) to treat OUD. ESStim™ is an enhanced non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) modality that overcomes the limitations of previous NIBS methods by combining independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasound fields to focus and stimulate stimulation in targeted brain areas. Previous chronic pain studies with ESStim™ have demonstrated significant improvements in pain alongside reductions in analgesic use, quality of life, and functional outcome measures. As part of the NIH HEAL initiative, Highland researchers and their academic collaborators are focused on evaluating the effectiveness of ESStim™ in reducing opioid use and cravings in patients with OUD.

About Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

OUD is the leading cause of overdoses due to substance use disorders, where death rates have increased dramatically, with more than 68,000 people in 20203. The US economic cost of the OUD ($471 billion) and fatal opioid overdoses ($550 billion) in 2017 totaled $1.021 billion4. OUD is difficult because opioids can lead to physical dependence in a short time (as little as 4-8 weeks) and treatment options for OUD are limited.5

About Highland Instruments, Inc. and ESStim™ Technology

Highland Instruments is a private medical device company, founded by researchers trained in Harvard Medical School and MIT. Highland pioneered the development of ESStim™6, an innovative non-invasive brain stimulation technology to treat OUD. ESStim™ has also been successfully implemented for the treatment of chronic pain (including osteoarthritis, low back pain and diabetic neuropathic pain) and is also being studied for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Highland previously received 510(k) premarket clearance for ESStim™ 001, which implements ESStim™ technology.

1The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R44DA049685. The content is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
6Electrosonic stimulation is protected by patents issued and pending.


Tim WagnerPhD, CSO
[email protected]
(617) 504-6031

SOURCEHighland Instruments, Inc.

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