Prapela awarded NIH/NIDA grant focused on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

March 19, 2019

NIH/NIDA Grant to Support Prapela's SVS Hospital Bassinet Pad for Opioid-Exposed Newborns

CONCORD, MA - Mar 19, 2019 - Prapela received notice of award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for its SBIR Grant entitled “Prapela™ SVS: A cost-effective stochastic vibrotactile stimulation device to improve the clinical course of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome”.  The grant will be used to advance the development of the Prapela SVS Hospital Bassinet for the treatment of newborns diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

NAS is the condition newborns experience as they withdraw from opioids they were exposed to during pregnancy. NAS babies are inconsolable and require an average hospital stay 3.5 times longer than for a healthy newborn.  Between 2003 and 2012, NAS admissions in the United States increased more than fourfold and now account for aggregate hospital charges of more than $1.5 billion with 81% attributed to state Medicaid programs.  There is no accepted standard for treating NAS.  Typically, NAS babies are given morphine or an equivalent to treat their symptoms.  Recent studies indicate drug-free treatments like rocking and skin to skin contact can reduce the use of pharmacological treatments and shorten length of stay.  To reduce the increasing burden on staff, hospitals are trying a variety of consumer products not cleared by the FDA to provide drug-free therapy. 

SVS is a patented, non-habit forming vibration with peer-review publications reporting it improves breathing, heart rate and relaxation in newborns diagnosed with NAS. Prapela’s SVS technology incorporated into the hospital bassinet pad is a promising approach to address the need for a clinically proven, non-pharmacological device to improve the clinical course of infants with NAS.

Prapela is so grateful to so many organizations that have helped the company accelerate availability of SVS including: Children’s National Health System, Johnson & Johnson, The State of Ohio and its Third Frontier Program, the Charles H. Hood Foundation, the Southwest National Pediatric Device Consortium along the FDA funded Pediatric Device Consortium program.  We also want to thank MassChallenge M2D2, MassMEDIC and Massachusetts Tech Transfer Center for their programs and mentorship.  Finally we are humbled to represent this amazing technology developed and validated by so many outstanding individuals at Harvard’s Wyss Institute, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital over the last ten years.


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