FDA-backed Consortium Awards Three Grants to Pediatric Devicemakers
The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium — a seed-funding group funded by the FDA — announced Wednesday its first three awards to companies developing medical devices for children with unmet medical need.
The companies — Little Sparrows Technologies in Boston, Seattle-based OtoNexus and Ras Labs in Hingham, Mass. — will receive $25,000 each. They were selected from among 19 devicemakers that submitted proposals last June.
Little Sparrows is developing the Bili-Hut, a portable, high-intensity phototherapy device for treating neonatal jaundice. The three-pound, collapsible enclosure uses LED lights and runs on line power or a 12-volt battery. The company, which designed the device for medically underserved areas, is conducting studies in India.
OtoNexus’ handheld ultrasound tool is designed to quickly and accurately diagnose middle ear infections by detecting fluid behind the eardrum. The device also identifies the type of fluid, which is crucial to making a correct diagnosis, the company says. Since more than half of diagnoses are in error, this can reduce unneeded antibiotic use and reduce medical costs.
RasLabs’ device is a polymer-based material designed to improve the interface between a child’s prosthetic limb and residual limb. The material contracts or expands like muscle in response to low-voltage electricity, helping to provide a more snug fit of the prosthesis.
PPDC received a five-year $1.5 million grant from the FDA in September 2013 and plans to issue its next request for proposals in March. — Kellen Owings