A number of grants have been awarded in an effort by the government to help encourage the development of pediatric medical devices.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the grants, which total $2 million. In order to decide who would receive the grants, the FDA relied on a six-person panel to review the 16 applications it received for funding.
Dr James Geiger and the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium received a grant of $1 million. Dr Pedro DelNido and the Pediatric Cardiovascular Device Consortium, along with Dr Michael Harrison and the University of California at San Francisco Pediatric Device Consortium, each received $500,000 grants.
The grants will be administered by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD). Timothy Cote, who is the director of that office, noted that Congress gave the grants to the FDA in order to help bring together the people who have ideas on medical technology with those who can develop it.
"These grants will strengthen public health by spurring the development of medical devices that safely and effectively meet the special and unique needs of our children," Cote said.
The FDA noted that the development of medical devices for children that are comparable to those used on adults is up to a decade behind. Because of physiological differences, developing such devices presents a challenge to developers.
Those who have received grants will be able to use the money for a number of things, including assessing the viability of proposed pediatric medical devices. The funds will also be used for the development process involved in creating the medical devices.
The OOPD has worked to help create pediatric products since 1982. According to the OOPD, less than 10 products were developed in the 10 years before 1983. Since then, more than 200 products and drugs have been made available to help treat younger patients.