September 21, 2009

FDA awards pediatric development grants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is awarding three grants to stimulate the development and availability of medical devices for children.

A panel of six experts with experience in medicine, business and device development reviewed 16 applications for the grants, which will be administered by the FDA's Office of Orphan Products Development.

The recipients and grant amounts include: Dr. James Geiger at the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium, $1 million; Dr. Pedro DelNido at the Pediatric Cardiovascular Device Consortium, $500,000; and Dr. Michael Harrison of the University of California-San Francisco Pediatric Device Consortium, $500,000.

Development of medical devices for children lags up to a decade behind similar devices intended for use in adults, the FDA said in a statement. Children differ in terms of size, growth and body chemistry and present unique challenges to device designers. In addition, the activity level and ability to manage some implantable or long-term devices may vary greatly among children.