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January 18, 2017

Philly organization hands out $150,000 in grants to develop medical devices for children

Three companies were selected by a collaboration of Philadelphia-based health institutions to continue innovative efforts to develop medical devices for children.

The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium announced Wednesday that each company will receive $50,000 in seed money. The effort, a collaboration among the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, is funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"We are once again delighted to support promising, innovative medical devices geared to the unmet clinical needs of children," said Dr. Matthew R. Maltese, of CHOP, in a statement.

The partnership was formed to improve health outcomes for children by supporting companies to manufacture specially-designed medical equipment to fit their smaller bodies. Pediatric devices are not commercialized to the extent that adult versions are.

Eight devices were named finalists for grants but only three were chosen, including one designed by EarGear, a Philly-based company.

EarGear's device focuses on correcting deformities in infants by reshaping the ear with silicon conformers. The process hopes to replace costly (and possibly painful) surgical procedures.

The other two innovators were:

• Myomo, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop a powered arm brace that assists children with neuromuscular disorders.
• 410 Medical, of Durham, North Carolina, to develop a hand-powered infuser to deliver fluids to critically ill children.

This year's awards were the third round in the organization's history. The group is already reviewing proposals for the next wave of awards, which are expected to be announced later this year.