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In-home Calcium Diagnostic Device for Hypoparathyroidism Grant Program

Grant to a USA, Canada, or International Nonprofit or Commercial Entity
to Create a Device for Patients to Measure Calcium Blood Levels at Home

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine - Orphan Disease Center (ODC) and Hypopara Research Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/11/19 8:00 PM EST


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Grant to a USA, Canada, or International nonprofit or commercial entity to create a medical device for patients to monitor blood calcium levels at home. Applicants must submit a letter of interest prior to applying. Funding is intended to cover laboratory supplies, salary, and other research related expenses.

The Orphan Disease Center, in collaboration with the Hypopara Research Foundation is thus seeking applications for the creation of a medical diagnostic device that would allow the in-home measurement of calcium in the blood. The goal is to create a device for hypoparathyroidism patients and others with hypocalcemia, which would improve disease management and quality of life by allowing self-administered care at home. The Foundation imagines this device revolutionizing disease management for these patients similarly as the glucose monitor has done for diabetic patients. Care providers in theory could provide guidelines for medication adjustment based on results from the device.

Competitive applications should propose creation of a device with the following specifications.

  1. Device should be able to measure ionic calcium levels
    • While total calcium is a useful measure, ionic calcium is the free calcium available in the blood for physiological function which is typically derived using a formula from total blood calcium and albumin levels. A direct measure of ionic calcium is ideal.
  2. Device should require no more than a finger prick of blood
    • Similarly to the glucose monitor, the test should require minimal amounts of blood, and ideally a reduced need for blood stabilizers etc.
  3. Device should provide rapid reproducible results/ values for ionic calcium
    • Device calibration should be simple enough for a patient or care provider to perform
  4. Device consumables should be cost effective
    • While the scope of the RFA does not request a commercially ready device, the proposed concept model should outline accessibility or ease of creation of cartridges/ sticks for blood collection.

A working prototype is not a required deliverable as a condition of funding, but applications
should propose plans over the 1 year funding period to develop the core technology described
in (1), (2), (3).

Allowable direct costs:

  • Salary for PI
  • Salary/stipend and related benefits for graduate student/postdoctoral fellow/technical support
  • Travel (up to $1500)
  • Laboratory supplies and other research expenses

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186675

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant will provide up to $200,000.

Term of Contract:

Proposed funding period: December 1, 2019 – November 30, 2020

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nonprofits. All individuals holding a faculty-level appointment at an academic institution or a senior position at a nonprofit institution or foundation are eligible to respond to this RFA. Intellectual property created as a result of this funding will be assigned to the home institution of inventors according to standard institutional technology transfer policies. It is expected that these institutions will aggressively license these inventions to appropriate commercial entities with diligence provisions incorporated into these contracts.

Commercial entities. The Foundation will accept applications from commercial entities as long as a principal investigator of appropriate experience is identified. Intellectual property created as a result of this funding will be assigned to the home institution of inventors which presumably would be employees of the company. Note that the budget should cover the entire scope of work and should include the ODC award and the company’s match. The Foundation will need assurance in the grant contract that the company will diligently develop the device.

Unallowable costs:
- Consultant costs
- Tuition
- Professional membership dues
- Equipment >$5,000
- General office supplies, institutional administrative charges (e.g., telephone, other electronic communication, IT network, etc.)
- Pre‐award charges
- Any other expenses not directly related to the project
- Indirect cost

Pre-Application Information:

LOI Due Date: Friday, September 13, 2019 by 8:00 PM (EST).

Note: Full Application is by invitation only after review of Pre-Application.

Proposal Due Date: Friday, October 11, 2019 by 8:00 PM (EST)

Grants provided to commercial entities are expected to be matched dollar for dollar.

Funds will be issued through a cost reimbursement mechanism executed by purchase order from the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit LOI online:

For any scientific inquiries regarding this grant please email Sheridan Carrington, PhD at

For any administrative inquiries regarding this grant please email Samantha Charleston at or 215-573-6822.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.