Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are part of a consortium received a five-year, $1.5m grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to improve the pipeline for the development of pediatric medical devices.

The project, funded with the award from the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development, will be led by Southern California Center of Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP), a consortium established at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California (USC) and involves collaboration with six pediatric medical device consortia across the nation to develop strategies for improving the pediatric medical device pipeline and for overcoming obstacles to successful pediatric device development.

Texas Children’s Hospital director of Pediatric Robotic Surgery Program Dr. Chester Koh said there is a shortage of available devices created specifically for the pediatric population.

Development of pediatric medical devices currently lags behind the development of devices for adults. Children differ from adults in terms of their size, growth, development, body chemistry, and disease propensity, which adds to the challenges of device development for children and adolescents.

"Pediatric hospitals across the nation are faced with the same dilemma, where clinicians are using adult devices for the needs of children. The consortium will help us fill the gap by encouraging the development of original devices for the pediatric population, as well as adapting adult devices for pediatric use," Koh said.

The goal of this Pediatric Device Consortium is to bring together individuals and institutions both in Texas and California to support pediatric medical device development through all of the necessary stages — concept formation, prototyping, preclinical, clinical, manufacturing, marketing, and commercialization.

Texas Children’s Hospital director of financial services James Hury said participation in this consortium brings together the brightest minds in pediatrics, giving us a path to develop new devices and potentially bring them to market.

Along with Texas Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the following centers have also been noted as grantees:

– University of Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium
– Atlantic Pediatric Device Consortium – Georgia Tech/Virginia Commonwealth University
– National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation – Children’s National Medical Center
– New England Pediatric Device Consortium – Boston Children’s
– Philadelphia Regional Pediatric Medical Device Consortium – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
– Boston Pediatric Device Consortium – Boston Children’s.