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SPR Therapeutics awarded $6 million U.S. Department of Defense grant

Northeast Ohio

SPR Therapeutics has secured a $6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for its non-opioid pain management therapy.

The four-year contract will help to advance SPR's SPRINT Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) System for non-opioid relief of acute and chronic pain. The contract complements a previously awarded defense department grant of $2.8 million, bringing the total department awards to nearly $9 million to advance research and commercialization of the therapy, according to a news release.

SPRINT, which already has FDA clearance for treating acute and chronic pain, is currently available to treat shoulder pain. This grant will support advanced clinical trials for individuals with combat or trauma-related amputations suffering from neuropathic pain — a major problem among service members and veterans, according to the release.

"Building upon substantial safety and efficacy data from prior trials, this project will further establish that our SPRINT PNS System relieves pain in severely injured military Service members and Veterans and helps them to reduce or eliminate use of addictive opioids, improves their quality of life, and accelerates their rehabilitation," said Maria Bennett, SPR Therapeutics founder, president and CEO, in a statement.

The SPR-patented SPRINT PNS technology includes a threadlike lead that's placed through the skin and connects to a wearable stimulator, which activates peripheral nerves to achieve pain relief.

It was designed to activate target nerve fibers and deliver sustained pain relief without opioids, permanent implants or tissue destruction. The system was developed to address a range of chronic and post-surgical pain, according to the news release.

"There is a clear military benefit to developing effective and innovative pain relief therapies and to providing treatment beyond conventional painkillers," said retired Col. Dr. Steven P. Cohen, director of pain research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in a statement.

"All available analgesics have undesirable side effects, the most significant of which are related to opioids," he said. "The SPRINT PNS therapy could have a tremendous impact on how we help our military personnel return to the active and fulfilling lives they deserve."

SPRINT also is in advanced clinical trials evaluating its use in treating chronic low back pain and acute post-surgical pain.

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