Six innovations win $250,000 grants at Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium

Six pediatric medical device innovations that address a significant unmet need were awarded a total of $250,000 in grant money at the fourth annual Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium organized by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System.

The pitch competition is sponsored by the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), an FDA-funded consortium led by Children’s National and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Four companies were awarded $50,000 each and two were awarded $25,000. A record 91 submissions from eight countries were received for the competition this year.

Winning innovations receiving $50,000 awards are:

  • Maternal Life, Palo Alto, Calif. – low-cost closed system that captures and administers colostrum to newborns with zero percent loss
  • JustRight Surgical, Louisville, Colo. – second generation surgical 5mm stapler scaled for a wider range of pediatric surgical procedures and bringing the benefits of laparoscopy to patients
  • Lully, San Francisco, Calif. – moisture sensor and Smart Pod monitor wirelessly connected to a smartphone app to prevent bedwetting episodes
  • Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Md. – low-cost, disposable multifunctional incubator for at-risk, low birth weight babies

Winning innovations receiving $25,000 awards are:

  • Nebula Industries, Melrose, Mass. – quick release medical tape to prevent neonatal and pediatric skin injuries
  • May & Meadow, Inc., Redwood City, Calif. – low-cost, mobile medical device for assessing feeding ability in infants at risk for feeding problems

"We are honored to recognize these exciting innovations with this funding," said Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, Executive Director of NCC-PDI and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National. “It takes millions of dollars to bring a device to market and our program provides the funding needed to bridge the critical gap that often follows the prototyping phase in life cycle of the device.” She added that in addition to the grant prize and consultation services through NCC-PDI, the awardees can leverage the validation received through this highly competitive process to raise the additional capital needed for commercialization. Since inception in 2013, the first ten NCC-PDI award recipients have collectively raised $32 million in additional funding.

The finalists each made five-minute presentations to the symposium audience and then responded to judges’ questions. Finalists also included PECA Labs, Pittsburgh, Pa; Magnamosis, Inc., San Francisco, Calif; CareTaker Medical, Charlottesville, Va.; Multisensor Diagnostics, Baltimore, Md.; PediaStent, Cleveland, Ohio; and Averia Health Solutions, Alexandria, Va.

Serving on the distinguished panel of judges were Susan Alpert, MD, a pediatrician and former Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Device Evaluation and former Senior Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer of Medtronic; Noelle Dubiansky, of the law firm Goodwin; Julia Finkel, MD, of Children’s National and founder of AlgometRx, a medical device startup; Richard Greenwald, PhD, of the New England Pediatric Device Consortium; Peyvand Khaleghian, PhD, of Avicenna Partners in Dubai; Matthew Maltese, PhD, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Eric Sugalski of Smithwise; and Tiffany Wilson of the Global Center for Medical Innovation.

The competition was part of an annual symposium, organized by Children's National, to foster innovation that will advance pediatric healthcare and address the unmet surgical and medical device needs for children.

"Even though they are a small portion of the patient population, it’s critical for children to have medical devices that are built specifically for them,” said Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children's National. “Children’s National is committed to bringing together the key stakeholders including innovators, clinicians, policy makers, and investors, to support advancements in the care of children.”

Keynote speakers included Vasum Peiris, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Pediatrics and Special Populations, Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the FDA and Brian T. Kenner, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia.

Panel discussions focused on the current regulatory environment, getting devices into the hospital setting, the funding landscape for pediatric devices, and the role of the device industry in economic development.


Published October 19, 2016