Painkiller maker Acura gets NIH grant

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Painkiller manufacturer Acura Pharmaceuticals has scored a $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop its Limitx technology, which is intended to make it harder to abuse hydrocodone pills when they are swallowed, or, as described in the company announcement “to deter abuse by excess oral consumption.”

The idea is that pills will release less hydrocodone if a user has swallowed multiple pills at once, and the company says initial tests in a simulated stomach indicate it has potential.

The company already has some abuse-deterrent platforms, such as its Aversion technology which turns crushed pain pills into an uninjectable mass. It also makes Impede, which irritates nasal passages, in the hope that it will make snorting an unpleasant experience. Early results indicated this was not the case, and the company expects to initiate a new clinical trial.

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