Neocare Gets $944K Grant From NSF

Neocare Gets  $944K Grant From NSF
A Neocare Innovations unit.

Santa Monica-based startup Neocare Innovations Inc., which is developing a technology platform for clinicians to improve the feeding regimen for preterm infants, has received a $944,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further the technology’s development.

Separately, the fledgling company announced it has been accepted into a Food and Drug Administration program to accelerate approvals for medical devices.

Caryn Bradley

Neocare Innovations was launched early last year by neonatal physical therapist Caryn Bradley and UC Irvine biomedical engineering professor William Tang. The pair saw the lack of a consistent and objective tool for assessing safe oral feeding for infants born prematurely who need hospital care. This often resulted in longer stays in the hospital and increased costs for care; with 400,000 preterm infants born each year across the nation, that translates into hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs. 

Bradley and Tang began working on a technology platform, which they called Pedi-Sync, that provides clinical data that can inform decision-making about oral feeding interventions for preterm infants. With a consistent feeding regimen backed by clinical data, the aim is to expedite discharge of preterm infants to the home setting. That in turn reduces total hospital stays and saves considerable money.

The $944,000 grant to Neocare, awarded in March, brings the company’s total funding to about $1.3 million.

William Tang (Photo by Steve Zylius)

The FDA designation is part of that agency’s “Safer Technologies Program” to speed up approvals for medical devices and medical device/technology combinations that hold the promise of significantly improving the safety of currently available treatments or diagnostics for non-life-threatening diseases or conditions. All of the same standards must be met as under the traditional approval process; the timetable is just sped up.

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Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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