SAN DIEGO, CA – June 8, 2021 – The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has selected a team from AnaBios and the Georgia Institute of Technology as one of five remaining groups to advance to the next round in the 2020 NCATS ASPIRE Reduction-to-Practice Challenge. Their winning project is entitled, “Development of a Comprehensive Integrated Platform for Translational Innovation in Pain, Opioid Abuse Disorder and Overdose.”

Under the leadership of Principal Investigator Jeffrey Skolnick, Ph.D., from Georgia Tech and co-investigator Andre Ghetti, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of AnaBios,  a multidisciplinary team of computational scientists and experimentalists will conduct an in silico screen aimed at the identification of novel lead molecules for the treatment of chronic pain without the risk of addiction.  The hits from the virtual screening will be further validated in AnaBios’ in vitro human primary neuron preparations to establish the ultimate potential of the compounds and the predictive ability of the combined approach. The team will also include Nicole Jung, Ph.D., from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, and Hongyi Zhou, Ph.D., from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“AnaBios is really pleased to make the cut and continue to the next stage in this important challenge initiated by the NCATS HEAL initiative,” said Dr. Ghetti. “We appreciate the recognition from the NIH and are firmly committed to finding new, non-opiate solutions for chronic pain.”

“This is a huge honor and we are really excited about this project,” said Dr. Skolnick.  “Combining AI with adult primary sensory neurons seems like a winning combination and we appreciate the recognition and support from NCATS.”

The NIH launched the HEAL Initiative in April 2018 to improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction and enhance pain management ( The NIH HEAL Initiative aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.

Click here to learn more about this collaborative research from AnaBios and Georgia Tech University scientists.

About AnaBios

Located in San Diego, California, AnaBios aims to establish the safety and efficacy of novel compounds through its advanced, human-focused translational technologies. AnaBios primarily focuses on areas of high, unmet medical need, including cardiac disease, pain and itch. In addition to working with Fortune 500 biotech companies, CROs and academia, AnaBios drives an internal drug discovery platform via in-licensed programs from partners in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information about AnaBios, visit