Paul Gaita for The Fix writes that commercial sponsor and investigators hope that a non-opioid treatment for back pain will be approved by the FDA so it will be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The opioid crisis rages on ravaging communities and accumulating human and economic costs. Up to 60 percent of sciatica patients, which include some five million residents in the U.S., are treated with opioid medication. Sponsor, Sollis Therapeutics, developed the treatment—a clonidine micropellet. According to website, Crunchbase, Sollis Therapeutics was founded in 2017 and has raised $50 million. It is targeting a lucrative potential market—pain management—if its trial proves successful and meets targeted endpoints.