U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a $492,312 federal grant to CircuLite Inc. in Teaneck which develops medical devices to improve the treatment of chronic heart failure. The grant, part of the HHS Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program, will fund the development of a system that will support infants and young children waiting for heart transplants.
"I commend CircuLite for taking this important step in improving the health of children suffering from life threatening heart conditions," said Rep. Pascrell. "By investing in medical research, we are making a commitment to protecting the health of all Americans while injecting much-needed capital into our fragile economy. It's win-win. Small businesses like CircuLite are the backbone of our economy, and I will continue to fight to ensure they have the federal resources they need to foster innovation in the medical field while creating good jobs right here in New Jersey."
To date, the need for mechanical circulatory support systems for infant and children with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease has largely been unmet. In the United States, hundreds of infant and children die each year while waiting for a donor heart. This grant will be used to develop a miniaturized controller module and other external components for both CircuLite's Infant and Child Circulatory Support Systems. Refinements to the software and hardware for components used in adults will be made to produce miniature components for infants and small children.
"It is important that the government is recognizing that the pediatric market has been underserved and is supporting the development of much-needed technology," said CircuLite CEO Paul Southworth. "Our SYNERGY system has been proven to effectively support adult chronic heart failure patients, and we look forward to adapting this technology to save the lives of many more children and infants."
This is the second HHS grant that CircuLite has received to support development of the pediatric system, with the first grant of more than $3 million awarded in 2009.
The SBIR program was created by the "Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982", to ensure that small businesses received a greater share of federal research and development awards. The objectives of the SBIR program are to stimulate technological innovations by small businesses; use an increasing number of small businesses to meet their R&D needs; increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from R&D awards to small businesses, and; foster and encourage the participation of small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses and small business located in HubZone areas.
Since the implementation of the SBIR program, HHS has received approximately 89,265 Phase I proposals and funded 20,120, with awards exceeding $2.4 billion. For Phase II awards, of the SBIR Program, HHS has received approximately 17,031 proposals and funded 6,951 with awards exceeding $5.7 billion.