The Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (formerly the Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium), connects Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and sciVelo, both based at the University of Pittsburgh. This new partnership comes on the heels of a five-year, $5 million grant renewal from the Consortium’s sponsor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The mission of the PPDC is to support the development and commercialization of promising medical devices that address unmet clinical needs in children.
The PPDC leadership includes Robert Levy, MD (Principal Investigator, Chair of the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and Professor of Pediatrics, CHOP & the University of Pennsylvania), Jorge Galvez, MD, MBI (Executive Director and attending anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at CHOP), Shahram Hejazi, PhD (Chair of the Oversight Committee and Partner, BioAdvance), and William Wagner, PhD (Co-Chair of the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committee and Director and Professor, the McGowan Institute, University of Pittsburgh). The PPDC organizational structure includes a Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committee composed of pediatric specialists and engineers from the participating institutions with expertise relevant to virtually all pediatric medical devices. This committee reviews and provides assistance for every pediatric medical device submitted to the PPDC. The Oversight Committee of the PPDC is the other major organizational component. This group is composed of business executives and investors. The Oversight Committee is responsible for final approval of all direct device funding and provides product development guidance, as needed, for all pediatric medical devices reviewed by the PPDC. The PPDC Project Managers who coordinate all operations are Josh Dienstman, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Patrick Cantini, the University of Pittsburgh.
Since its founding in 2013, the PPDC has provided both guidance and seed funding for a range of pediatric products, including an airway clearance system, a powered arm brace, a speech-generating communication system, a vision acuity test for preverbal children, and a portable phototherapy device for newborns with neonatal jaundice. It has assisted more than 90 innovative projects, and over the past five years the PPDC has awarded 16 seed grants of up to $50,000 each to companies in Pennsylvania and beyond.
In addition to the annual round of seed grants, the PPDC accepts applications at all times for in-kind services and expert advice.