RICHMOND – Tympanogen, a medical device startup based at the VA Bio+Tech Park in Richmond, VA,
was awarded a $1.48 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute
on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). This Direct-to-Phase II grant will support the
regulatory testing needed to bring Tympanogen’s eardrum gel patch, called Perf-Fix, to market. Perf-Fix
is intended to replace traditional eardrum repair surgery with an office-based procedure. This surgery is
most often performed on children who have perforated eardrums stemming from chronic ear infections.
“This Direct-to-Phase II award is an immense vouch of confidence from the NIDCD, as we are skipping
the Phase I feasibility stage and jumping straight into testing that will prepare Perf-Fix for submission to
FDA,” said Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney, Co-Founder and CEO of Tympanogen and the Principal Investigator
for the grant. “Perf-Fix will transform how eardrum repair is performed and help over 150,000 US
patients avoid surgery every year.”
“Perforations of the eardrum represent a major cause of hearing loss, disability and economic hardship,”
said Dr. Barry Strasnick, Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at Eastern Virginia Medical School,
Scientific Advisor to Tympanogen, and Co-Investigator on the grant. “Perf-Fix could provide a simple,
nonsurgical solution that avoids the risk and high cost of traditional surgical repair while dramatically
altering the management of this highly prevalent condition.”
“Dr. Horn-Ranney and the team of Tympanogen are leading the way in innovation for eardrum repair
and this award validates all of the hours they’ve spent in the lab and will be a pathway to improving
patient outcomes,” said Carrie Roth, President & CEO, Activation Capital and VA Bio+Tech Park.
About Activation Capital:
Activation Capital engages and connects the many influential players in our innovation ecosystem, and
strives to give startup founders access to the tools and resources they need to navigate the
entrepreneurial process. The Activation Council supports and coordinates these efforts among the many
available resources to foster innovation in companies of all kinds. Activation Council brings clarity and
perspective in the short term and vision for the long term that generates more collision points that lead
to successful business outcomes. Our goal is for the region to become known as a hub for all things
innovative and as an environment where entrepreneurs and innovative companies thrive. We want the
Activation Capital to be known as the place where any person with an idea can come to find resources
needed to take an idea from start to phenomenal.
The VA Bio+Tech Park is a vibrant, life sciences community located adjacent to the Virginia
Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center on a 34-acre campus in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Since its creation, the Park has supported nearly 160 private and non-profit companies, state and
federal laboratories, and research institutes/administrative functions of VCU and VCU Health, employing
approximately 2,400 researchers, scientists, engineers and support personnel. Major member
organizations in the park include the VCU Innovation Gateway and VCU Ventures, the Altria Center for
Research and Technology, United Network for Organ Sharing, True Health Diagnostics and the Virginia
Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. The Park also has developed partnerships with neighboring
Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico Counties to extend its reach.