Press Releases

Biobot Analytics Awarded NIDA Funding for Nationwide Wastewater-Based Monitoring Program for High Risk Substances and Others Associated with Health Risks

September 21, 2023

This initiative aims to better understand substance use and misuse at a national level

Written by Biobot Analytics & published on September 21, 2023 by PR Newswire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Biobot Analytics, a global leader in wastewater epidemiology, was awarded a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health to conduct anonymous, population-level wastewater-based monitoring on drugs and overdose reversal agents. This program is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at evaluating the distribution of substance use and misuse on a national level.

Over 100,000 overdose deaths occurred in the United States last year and more than two-thirds of all overdose deaths in 2022 involved a synthetic opioid, according to provisional data. Biobot’s work is a vital step forward in the country’s collective efforts to address substance use and misuse. This initiative will play a crucial role in providing valuable data to communities across the country that can inform proactive and effective public health interventions to help prevent overdoses, hospitalizations, and overdose deaths, and inform scientific research.

The program will provide wastewater analysis of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, xylazine, naloxone, and their metabolites to 70 communities across the United States. The SBIR Phase III contract represents the continuation of Biobot’s work supported by NIDA’s SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants. During Phase I in 2018, Biobot conducted a wastewater monitoring pilot in North Carolina to provide local officials with information on population-level use of opioids throughout the community to help inform public health support and intervention efforts. During Phase II in 2021, the data generated in Phase I was compared with state and local overdose data and naloxone administration data. With this latest phase, Biobot will focus on understanding the distribution of illicit drug use across many sites and engage public health officials on how the data can be best utilized to help diverse communities.”Biobot Analytics was originally founded in 2017 to help communities address the opioid epidemic through wastewater monitoring,” said Dr. Mariana Matus, CEO and Cofounder of Biobot Analytics. “A main barrier to improving public health response is that public health officials typically only have access to delayed data on individuals who have overdosed, which doesn’t reflect everyone living with substance use disorder. With Support from NIDA, we will be able to help public health officials better understand the prevalence and occurrence of high-risk substance use and promote proactive response to prevent overdoses and help people where they are.”For more information on Biobot’s High Risk Substance Wastewater Platform, visit our website.Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under a contract mechanism. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Biobot Analytics

Biobot Analytics is a global leader in wastewater epidemiology, founded with the goal of transforming wastewater infrastructure into real-time public health observatories. Having worked at hundreds of locations across all US states and territories and several countries, Biobot produces actionable information from wastewater to improve the health of communities around the world. Separately from their infectious illnesses work, Biobot also analyzes wastewater for the presence of High Risk Substances, such as opioids, to help communities better respond to substance use and implement harm reduction programming. More information on our mission and technology is available at our website,