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Searching For An Effective Treatment For Opioid Addiction

A Mission Without Borders

Novela’s Neureka™ is officially traveling to Spain to accelerate San Carlos Hospital’s mission in developing a cure for drug addiction based on Neuromodulation.

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“After the devastating loss of a close friend, I was determined to do something about opioid addiction. This resulted in our collaboration with San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Spain who are using Novela technology to search for a solution”

Ray Iskander, Novela CEO


The goal of this project is to leverage Neureka™’s simplified and automated data collection, sharing and analysis capabilities to accelerate preclinical development of an effective neuromodulation-based intervention for opioid addiction.




Key Outcomes

  • Longitudinal experiments using Neureka™ medtech platform
  • Ability to scale animal testing through automation. More data leads to better insights
  • Ability to share data across multiple teams to accelerate the analysis
  • Efficacy assessment of closed-loop neuromodulation with opioid addiction



Opioid addiction takes it toll, not just on the addicted person, but also their loved ones and society as a whole. Addiction often starts innocently with taking prescription painkillers for an injury. But insidiously, it morphs into a beast that’s hard to tame, with many eventually turning to heroin and other illicit alternatives. In 2018, almost 2 million people in the U.S. abuse opioids, with 47,600 dying from an overdose. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic.

Unfortunately, addiction is also incredibly hard to kick. Relapse rates can be as high as 60%, meaning that 6 in 10 people suffering from addiction will, at some point, return to the drug. While patients can manage their cravings and regain control using medications and therapy, these treatments are not “cures.” Addiction is chronic, in that the patient will often struggle with it for years, if not a lifetime.

We need better treatment for opioid addiction. That’s the goal of the project in Spain.

Rather than using medication to dampen cravings, the Spain project goes straight for the “source code” of the brain: find signals in the brain that encodes for cravings, and nip those signals in the bud. By tapping directly into the brain’s communication, we can prevent a person from experiencing drug cravings before it happens.