In this November 2006 file photo, a 5-day-old baby sleeps in her mother's arms at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Credit: John Clarke Russ / BDN

A Maine infant health company working with Tufts Medical Center has received a $2.5 million contract to treat drug-affected babies.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded Tufts and Biddeford-based Prapela a contract to develop the SVS Hospital Bassinet.

The bassinet helps treat newborns diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome/Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome, as part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative.

The bassinet is padded with a stochastic vibrotactile stimulation device that Prapela has developed to treat babies who were exposed to opioids at birth. A published study showed the device improved babies’ breathing and heart rates and helped relax them when undergoing morphine treatment for opioid exposure.

The funding will be used to launch a randomized clinical trial that would measure the bassinet’s efficacy in treating babies with the syndrome, Prapela co-founder and chief executive John Konsin said.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk team for the Bangor Daily News and a recent graduate of Columbia Journalism School whose recent work has appeared in Strikewave, Defector, and The American Prospect....