Xhale, Inc. has been awarded a $1.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant by the NIH National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to continue the development of SMART (Self Monitoring and Reporting Therapeutics), a breath-based medication adherence system for HIV/AIDS therapies.
In 2007, NIH / NIMH awarded Xhale an SBIR Phase I grant to test the technical merit of SMART. SBIR Phase II grants enable SBIR Phase I grantees to further develop their technology and prepare it for commercialization. Xhale will use the Phase II grant to develop and test additional functionality, accuracy and system usability. The result will be a commercial version of the system which will have multiple benefits to patients, doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
As with the Phase I SBIR, Dr. Richard Melker, CTO of Xhale, will be the principal investigator for the project. “Medication adherence has tremendous impact on patient health,” said Dr. Melker. “This is particularly true with HIV/AIDS patients where just a 10% change in adherence is associated with doubling of viral load and a 21% increase in the risk of developing full blow AIDS. NIMH was particularly interested since non-adherence to antibiotic or antiviral regimens also pose a serious threat to public health through the emergence of resistant organisms.”