The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), in collaboration with MedTech Innovator, is now accepting applications for its showcase pitch event on March 23 in College Park, Md. The competition is focused on pediatric devices in three areas of critical need: cardiovascular, orthopedic and spine, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Up to 10 companies selected from this event will move on to the “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” on October 4 in Toronto to compete for up to $250,000 in grant awards. These companies also receive a spot in the MedTech Innovator 2020 Accelerator—Pediatric Track, which provides a customized curriculum and in-depth mentorship. The goal of the competition and accelerator is to increase the pace of development and commercialization of critically needed pediatric medical devices for the benefit of children everywhere.
Applications are currently being accepted until 12 a.m. EST on February 15. Results for the March 2020 NCC-PDI pitch event will be announced in late May.
“While there is a great need for pediatric devices in many specialty areas, the development and commercialization process is very challenging because of the small market size and dynamic characteristics of the patient population,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, MBA, PMP, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Hospital and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. “To provide pediatric innovators with greater support in meeting these unique challenges, we must go beyond grant funding, which is why we are collaborating with MedTech Innovator to offer an accelerator program with a pediatric track.”
To date, NCC-PDI has mentored over 100 medical device sponsors to help advance their pediatric innovations, notes Eskandanian, with six devices having received either their FDA market clearance or CE marking. She says the success of NCC-PDI’s portfolio companies is attributed to funding, mentorship, support from partners, facilitated interactions between device innovators and potential investors, and being discovered during their presentations at the signature “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” competitions.
While advancements have been made in some pediatric specialties, there is still a critical need for novel devices in cardiovascular, orthopedic and spine, and NICU areas. On average over the past decade, only 24% of life-saving medical devices approved by FDA have an indication for pediatric use. Of those, most are designated for children age 12 or older.
“Devices designed specifically for the younger pediatric population are vitally needed and, at this early stage of the intervention, can significantly improve developmental outcomes for a child,” Eskandanian says.