LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 - The West Coast Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP) was awarded $6.6 million over five years by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to continue its essential work of improving child health outcomes by advancing pediatric medical devices. CTIP, based at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the University of Southern California (USC), is one of only five centers across the country awarded this prestigious FDA Pediatric Device Consortium (PDC) grant, offered by the Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD).
“Our mission is to improve health outcomes for our vulnerable pediatric population,” says Juan Espinoza, MD, FAAP, general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and co-director of CTIP. “To be recognized by the FDA as a center of excellence for pediatric innovation and to serve as a national resource for pediatric device development is both a great honor and great responsibility. We feel fortunate to be working with some of the finest institutions on the West Coast to support and foster collaboration in medical technology development.”
Established in 2011 and first funded by the FDA in 2013, CTIP promotes commercialization and clinical use of pediatric medical device technology. The group fosters networking opportunities, direct and indirect financial support and guidance on issues related to intellectual property, prototyping, engineering, testing, grant writing and clinical trial design – all on the road to getting the devices to market. Over the past year, CTIP has focused on developing partnerships along the West Coast, bringing together a network of children’s hospitals, academic institutions, accelerators and incubators across California, Oregon and Washington. CTIP network members include the University of California, Los Angeles; Oregon Health & Science University; University of Southern California; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Berkeley; Seattle Children’s Hospital; Cedars-Sinai Accelerator; LA BioMed; and Project Zygote.
“CTIP has undergone considerable growth, evolving from a Southern California consortium to one that spans the major metropolitan areas on the West Coast,” says Yaniv Bar-Cohen, MD, pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and co-director of CTIP. “We recognize that there are still many unmet needs facing pediatric patients, which motivates us to capitalize on our large network of multi-disciplinary stakeholders to identify and cultivate promising new technologies tailored to the needs of children.”
Since becoming an FDA-funded PDC, CTIP has supported 120 unique projects from 15 different states. As part of its second annual Catalyzing Pediatric Innovation Grant competition, CTIP recently awarded $235,000 in seed grants to six innovators developing new devices and technologies for young patients. The 2018 grant winners included a low-cost infant microbiome monitoring device for home or clinic use, a novel short arm exoskeleton to help treat orthopaedic fractures, an improved sound-delivery vest for treating respiratory conditions and a virtual reality system for treating pediatric chronic pain.
CHLA has taken active steps to create a culture of innovation beyond its leadership role in CTIP. Recognizing the crucial need to stay on the leading edge of technology in the constantly evolving health care space, CHLA recently appointed its first-ever Chief Innovation Officer, Omkar P. Kulkarni, MPH, with the goal of fostering innovation across CHLA’s clinical and research enterprises.
“Innovation in health care covers so much ground – from finding successful new methods of patient care to developing novel medical devices and digital health technologies – and the industry has yet to scratch the surface,” says Kulkarni, who is also a member of the CTIP leadership team. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has the expertise, experience and resources needed to lead the charge, and we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation to enhance the quality of care and health outcomes for the children we serve.”