Cambridge, Mass.-based Draper won for the LEAP Valve, a pediatric valve designed for children, birth to age 6, that passively expands to a two-fold diameter expansion to accommodate child growth. The initial goal is to serve the most critical unmet need, which is very young children who require valve diameters less than 15 millimeters, as opposed to 18 to 30 millimeters needed by for adults.
Draper is working closely with pediatric clinicians, including a team led by Dr. Sitaram Emani at Boston Children’s Hospital, to design the valve to meet the needs of these young children so they won’t need to undergo three to five major surgeries before adulthood to replace valves that fail or that they outgrow. The team has produced two promising design concepts, along with the computational models of the stent designs, and fabricated and tested the first-generation prototype. Draper hopes to complete ex vivo testing and design revision before moving into a growing animal model for proof-of-concept of function, according to the company website.