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PhotoniCare Receives $2.1 Million National Institute of Health Phase IIb Small Business Innovation Research Award

PhotoniCare, a medical device company headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, received a $2.1 million award through the National Institute of Health (NIH) Phase llb Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The National Institute of Deafness & Communications Disorders (NIDCD), part of the NIH, is funding this award. The NIDCD conducts and supports research in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

In fiscal years 2015 and 2016, PhotoniCare was awarded SBIR Phase ll funding from the NIDCD. The SBIR program is the mechanism by which the NIH and other Federal agencies bring innovative solutions to public health challenges. The initial awards supported the build-out of PhotoniCare’s TOMi Scope [OtoSight Middle Ear Scope], as well as funding to host clinical studies using the device. The studies, which took place in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., helped PhotoniCare to better understand the potential impact of the TOMi Scope [OtoSight Middle Ear Scope] on diagnosis of middle ear disease (ear infections).

According to the NIH, the goal of the Phase llb award is to continue assistance of the small businesses previously funded through an SBIR Phase ll in pursuing the next appropriate milestone necessary to advance a promising product or service along a commercialization pathway. PhotoniCare’s $2.1 million Phase llb award provides funding to support a necessary, expanded, multi-site clinical trial to advance the device through the commercialization process.

“The NIDCD has been a terrific partner for us over the past two years, and we look forward to continuing our work with them through this very important clinical trial,” said Ryan Shelton, PhotoniCare Co-Founder, and CEO. “Receiving ongoing peer-reviewed validation from a prestigious institution like the NIH/NIDCD is a testament to the hard work PhotoniCare’s team puts toward improving the quality of healthcare at the front lines, where improvements in care can make the greatest impact on cost and quality of care.”

About the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD): The NIDCD supports and conducts research and research training on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language and provides health information based upon scientific discovery, to the public.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.

About PhotoniCare

PhotoniCare is a medical device company developing a handheld, low-cost imaging platform for the front lines of medicine. The TOMi Scope [OtoSight Middle Ear Scope], the first product on the platform, will fundamentally change the way healthcare providers manage middle ear infections, one of the most common diseases in the world. Founded out of Dr. Stephen Boppart’s Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), PhotoniCare continues its relationship with UIUC as an EnterpriseWorks incubator company. For more information about PhotoniCare visit or connect with PhotoniCare on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Research reported in this press release was supported by National Institute of Deafness & Communications Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number 2R44DC014599-03. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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