NIH funds Illinois Tech project using machine learning to fully automate insulin delivery

[Image courtesy of Illinois Tech]Researchers at Illinois Tech received $1.2 million from the NIH to develop a machine learning system for an artificial pancreas’ insulin delivery.

Professor of chemical engineering Ali Cinar leads the project aimed at easing the burden on those with type 1 diabetes. NIH funding covers for years for developing the machine learning system. The researchers aim to integrate it into Cinar’s artificial pancreas system to enhance accuracy.

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PharmaJet wins NIH grant to evaluate needle-free delivery of HPV immunization

The Tropis needle-free injection system. [Image from PharmaJet]PharmaJet announced today that it received a grant worth $800,000-plus from the NIH to evaluate its needle-free injection system.

Golden, Colorado-based PharmaJet picked up a Phase II grant from the NIH (National Institutes of Health). It allows the company to evaluate the immunogenicity of the intradermal administration of human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccine. The study compares PharmaJet’s Tropis intradermal, needle-free injection system against traditional needle and syringe intramuscular administration.

According to a news release, the study will be performed in collaboration with Padjadjaran University (UNPAD) in Indonesia. PharmaJet expects the study to recruit approximately 900 girls aged nine to 14 years old in early 2023. This follows PharmaJet’s preliminary studies evaluating intradermal delivery for HPV vaccines.

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Rescue Biomedical wins $2.8M grant for nalaxone-releasing implant for opioid overdoses

[Photo courtesy of Purdue/Rescue Biomedical/Hugh Lee]Rescue Biomedical announced today that it received a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for its opioid overdose treatment.

West Lafayette, Indiana received a Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, grant from the NIH. The company develops technology that detects when a person is overdosing on an opioid and delivers naloxone to reverse the action.

The minimally invasive, subcutaneous device presents a closed-loop drug delivery system. Hyowon “Hugh” Lee, Rescue Biomedical CEO, said the company seeks to partner with recovery clinics and clinicians. This way, they can identify and work with opioid use disorder (OUD) patients at high risk of overdosing again.

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NIH grants Eko $2.7M to develop pulmonary hypertension AI tech

[Image from Eko]Eko announced today that it received a $2.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct Phase II grant.

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the grant. The grant will fund the development of a machine learning algorithm, according to a news release.

Eko said the algorithm detects and stratifies pulmonary hypertension (PH). It uses phonocardiogram (PCG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) data from Eko’s smart stethoscopes. To address challenges of ECG-based AI models for detecting PH, Eko partnered with Lifespan Health System’s Cardiovascular Institute.

The partnership collects real-world PCG and ECG data using the Eko Duo ECG + digital stethoscope. Eko plans to use the data to develop an algorithm that can detect PH and stratify its severity. Early identification can diagnose PH earlier and more accurately, leading to potentially life-saving interventions.

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U of Maryland scientist to set up NIH’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it formed a new research project agency for health.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the formal establishment of the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) as an independent entity within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Adam H. Russell was appointed as acting deputy director, effective next month.

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NIH to study allergic reactions to COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

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Researchers from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are conducting a clinical trial on allergic reactions to mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines.

The single-site trial will enroll up to 100 people between 16 and 69 years old who had an allergic reaction to a first dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. NIAID seeks participants who experienced a mild or moderate systemic allergic reaction to either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

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NIH launches $9.8M neuromodulation competition

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it launched the first phase of its Neuromod Prize competition.

Neuromod Prize, a $9.8 million competition, aims to accelerate the development of neuromodulation therapies. NIH seeks scientists, engineers and clinicians to submit novel concepts and clinical development plans to demonstrate solutions for stimulating the peripheral nervous system to treat disease and improve human health.

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NIH director Francis Collins to step down

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Dr. Francis S. Collins will step down as director of the agency.

Collins, the longest-serving presidentially-appointed NIH director, decided to end his tenure by the end of the year. He had served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years.

NIH did not announce a successor to Collins or a timeline for appointing one.

“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” Collins said in a news release. “I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one, done in close counsel with my wife, Diane Baker, and my family. I am proud of all we’ve accomplished. I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future.

“I’m most grateful and proud of the NIH staff and the scientific community, wh…

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NIAID expresses concern over AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine data

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has announced concerns with data from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial.

NIAID, a wing of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said in a statement today that it was concerned after information released by the company surrounding the clinical trial for its AZD1222 vaccine may be outdated. In turn, that may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data, NIAID said.

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NIH increases PhysIQ contract to $6.6M

PhysIQ announced today that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) entered into Phase II of a contract for its AI-based COVID-19 biomarker.

A Purdue University-affiliated artificial intelligence company, PhysIQ’s AI-based COVID-19 digital biomarker is being developed to address the rapid decompensation of high-risk COVID-19 patients, according to a news release.

PhysIQ’s technology’s cloud platform continuously collects and processes data from any wearable biosensor. In this case, the platform seeks out biomarkers to determine if a person infected with COVID-19 is experiencing a worsening in their condition.

Instead of using measurements such as temperature and pulse oximetry, PhysIQ’s platform offers multi-parameter vital signs and physiological features which establish a targeted biomarker (COVID-19 Decompensation Index — CDI) for worsening coronavirus-caused condition.

The contract option, exercised by the National Canc…

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iotaMotion lands $1.65M NIH grant to develop robotic cochlear implant tech

Robotic surgical technology developer iotaMotion announced that it received a $1.65 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Iowa City, Iowa-based iotaMotion said in a news release that it is using the grant funds to continue developing its real-time tissue trauma sensing technology in the iotaSoft robotic surgical system designed for assistance in cochlear implantation surgery.

The iotaSoft system is a robot-assisted insertion device designed to allow surgeons to advance cochlear implant electrodes with more control and precision, which the company believes will allow for less surgical variability.

In addition to the NIH grant, iotaMotion said it received the inaugural Iowa Biosciences Medtech Award. The $20,000 prize recognizes significant progress and investor support over the last year and has been earmarked for supporting regulatory and pre-commercialization efforts.

“These NIH funds will be used to advance technology…

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NIH to boost COVID-19 testing capabilities

[Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash]

The National Institutes of Health announced a $129.3 million plan to support scaling and manufacturing for COVID-19 tests.

As part of its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, NIH is awarding contracts to nine companies for their technologies that include portable point-of-care tests for immediate results and high-throughput laboratories that can produce results in 24 hours.

Yesterday’s announcement follows a July investment in seven companies from NIH worth $248.7 million in new technologies to address challenges with COVID-19 testing.

Some of the testing technologies are also being supported by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) as part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, along with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in the U.S. Defense Dept.

Here are the nine co…

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