UAMS Awarded $1M for Two Opioid Trials

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The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in collaboration with the Duke Clinical Research Institute, has received a $1 million federal grant for two clinical trials involving infants with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS).

The money comes from the National Institutes of Health’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative.

Jeannette Lee, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at UAMS, and Dr. Jessica Snowden, associate professor of pediatrics at UAMS, are leaders of the Data Coordinating and Operations Center for the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network.

The network will conduct the trials in conjunction with the Neonatal Research Network, which is funded by the Eunice Shriver Kennedy National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. 

Both trials, scheduled to launch this year, aim to address management of infants exposed in utero to opioids. 

“The two clinical protocols that we will be testing were developed over a two-year period through collaboration among the clinical sites and coordinating centers that are a part of this united effort,” Lee said in a news release. “In both instances, we are looking for new, improved tools for treating these infants, who are born with the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal.”

One study will evaluate an innovative approach called “Eating, Sleeping and Consoling” for its effectiveness in caring for NOWS infants, as measured by decreased length of hospital stay compared to usual care. The other study will examine a rapid schedule of weaning NOWS infants from opioid replacement therapy to determine if it shortens the weaning period compared to usual care.