The Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) announces a partnership with two programs at the University of Pittsburgh. Formerly the Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium, the PPDC’s new name reflects its statewide reach. This expansion comes on the heels of a five-year, $5 million grant renewal from the Consortium’s sponsor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Based at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the PPDC’s mission is to support the development of promising medical devices that address unmet clinical needs in children. It has assisted more than 60 innovative projects and over the past five years, the PPDC has awarded 16 seed grants of up to $50,000 each to companies in the Philadelphia region and beyond. The PPDC conducts a competitive process to select its award recipients.
The Consortium’s new cross-state partners are the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and sciVelo, both based at the University of Pittsburgh. Together, these programs focus on developing and commercializing biomedical technology.
“Our new partnerships with these outstanding programs build on our existing success in collaborating with Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania,” said Matthew Maltese, PhD, the Director of Biomechanics Research in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at CHOP, and the Executive Director and principal investigator of the PPDC. “This unification of Pennsylvania’s biomedical ecosystem expands the PPDC’s network of expertise in supporting the development of much-needed devices for children.”
William R. Wagner, PhD, Director of the McGowan Institute, added, “We are extremely excited to offer our resources and expertise as we work together with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and sciVelo to develop medical device technologies for children with particular unmet medical needs.”
In September, the FDA announced that the PPDC and four other pediatric device consortia throughout the nation received five-year grant awards. “We recognize the unique health needs of children,” said FCC Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, who added, “We know that developing products specifically for pediatric patients can present unique challenges to device developers and there are still many unmet needs for children with serious, debilitating or rare diseases. This is why we continue to work to encourage device innovation for medical conditions that impact young populations.”
“The continued support of the FDA demonstrates the effectiveness of this program in bringing novel technologies one step closer to helping children,” said Shahram Hejazi, PhD, Chair of the PPDC Oversight Committee.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the development of medical and surgical devices custom-designed for children, rather than depending on the off-label use of tools invented for adults.
Since its first round of awards in 2015, the PPDC has provided seed funding for a range of pediatric products, including an airway clearance system, a powered arm brace, a speech-generating communication system, a vision acuity test for preverbal children, and a portable phototherapy device for newborns with neonatal jaundice.
The PPDC will announce its next round of seed grants early this year. In addition to its annual round of seed grants, the Consortium accepts applications year-round for in-kind services and expert advice.
For more information on the PPDC, visit https://ppdc.research.chop.edu.