Neurovation Labs Awarded Air Force SBIR Contract to Accelerate PTSD Diagnostic and Treatment Development
New York, NY – December 16, 2019
Neurovation Labs, Inc., a biotechnology company developing the first objective diagnostic and companion treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), has been awarded a U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract through AFWERX and Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to advance the development of these pivotal technologies.
PTSD is an incapacitating psychiatric disorder that affects nearly 10% of the U.S. population and imposes an annual economic burden exceeding $42 billion. Developing after a traumatic event such as warfare or abuse, its incidence is particularly high among military servicemembers and veterans. The deleterious effects go beyond the symptoms themselves—veteran suicide is double the rate of non-veteran suicide, and servicemembers from the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars are nearly three times more likely to use illicit drugs like opioids to self medicate.
Currently, PTSD is poorly diagnosed using subjective symptom checklists. The symptoms are then individually treated by off-target, ineffective drugs or by various cognitive therapies. Neurovation Labs is addressing these shortcomings in PTSD healthcare by developing the first diagnostic brain scan and companion medication for the disorder. Both products target the same protein increase in the fear center of the brain—a groundbreaking discovery that offers the first potential PTSD biomarker.
“We are thrilled to be working with AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force on the development of our PTSD diagnostic and treatment,” stated CEO Dr. Jennifer Perusini. “Successful development of our products will allow not only for a definitive diagnosis of PTSD but also immediate targeted treatment. This approach, based on measurable physical indicators, represents a marked change in mental healthcare.”
Neurovation Labs is now eligible to pursue a Phase II contract with the Air Force. Phase II of the program provides one-to-one matching funds on private investments up to $1.5M.
About Neurovation Labs, Inc.: Neurovation Labs is a biotechnology company revolutionizing the way psychiatric disorders are diagnosed and treated, with an initial focus on PTSD. Founded in 2016, the company is leveraging a major brain biomarker discovery to develop two products: (1) a molecular diagnostic and (2) a companion targeted treatment. Both products are in preclinical development and have the potential to transform PTSD healthcare.
About AFWERX: Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force, AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities. The core mission of AFWERX is to improve Air Force capabilities by connecting innovators, simplifying technology transfer and accelerating results. AFWERX has partnered with the AFRL, a scientific research organization operated by the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, to streamline the SBIR process to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants, and decrease bureaucratic overhead.