The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) has announced seed grants to two companies developing medical devices for children. The Consortium chose those companies out of 27 applicants to receive seed grants of $50,000 each.
One company aims to reduce pain in a pediatric medical procedure, while the other seeks to lower unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.
The grants will assist Actuated Medical in developing a device to improve bone biopsies and bone marrow aspirations in children, and ENTvantage Diagnostics in developing a more accurate tool to diagnose sinus infections in children, and thereby reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics.
Funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and based at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the PPDC provides know-how and seed funding to help innovators translate promising ideas into commercial medical devices for use in children.
The new round of awards is the second by the PPDC, following a group of three $25,000 seed grants announced in February 2015 to innovative firms that applied to the Consortium’s first request for proposals in June 2014.
“We are excited to provide these funds to innovators of promising medical devices that will address unmet clinical needs of pediatric patients around the world,” said bioengineer Matthew R. Maltese, PhD, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Consortium’s executive director and principal investigator.
A bone access system proposed by Actuated Medical, of Bellefonte, Pa., aims to reduce patient discomfort, improve the success rate for first-attempt samples, reduce clinician fatigue, and shorten procedure times for bone biopsy and bone marrow aspiration procedures. Physicians performing these procedures on children currently face multiple challenges. This patient population requires deep sedation or anesthesia to tolerate bone access procedures. Children also have small, curved bones, which increase the risk of needle slippage and damage to surrounding tissue. The lack of CT or other image guidance during pediatric bone access increases the difficulty of maintaining the desired needle trajectory, which results in failed access and repeated insertions, as well as increased post-operative pain and risk of infection. This new device under development will reduce insertion force and needle slippage, allowing for faster and more reliable bone penetration.
ENTvantage Diagnostics, of Austin, Texas, is developing a device to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of sinusitis (sinus infections). Although bacteria cause sinusitis only about 10 percent of the time, physicians commonly prescribe antibiotics, which are ineffective against non-bacterial sinusitis. Because diagnostic tools are not currently available for a proper diagnosis, clinicians have to rely on imprecise diagnostic algorithms based solely on the patient symptoms. ENTvantage aims to create a point-of-care assay device to provide rapid results that are simple to interpret with ease of use and minimal staff training. In a manner similar to that of rapid influenza A and B tests commonly used in primary care clinics, this new device is envisioned to reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage.
The PPDC plans to issue the next request for proposals for this funding opportunity later this month. Applications are accepted from throughout the U.S. and from foreign companies.