Breakthrough Devices

Ken Block Consulting (KBC) has achieved Breakthrough Device Designation (BDD) status for two different novel and impactful medical devices, which are both described below. Our team would be happy to discuss your company's innovative new technology, whether your proposed device could be positioned appropriately for a Breakthrough Device Designation Request to the FDA, and how KBC can create the most appropriate BDD Q-Submission.

FLOXsp Device

FLOXsp was developed by KBC startup client Neural Fiber Optic Systems, Inc. (NFOSYS) and is intended for short-term placement in the epidural space to monitor spinal cord blood flow and oxygenation before, during, and after surgical procedures where the spinal cord is at risk of injury due to ischemia. Spinal cord ischemia (SCI) can lead to paraparesis, paraplegia, tetraplegia, and other lifetime disabilities including chronic pain. Results of SCI are costly and can significantly reduce the length and quality of patient lives.

To help reduce the occurrence of SCI complications, NFOSYS President/CEO Thomas F. Floyd, MD, developed the FLOXsp device, which uses minimally invasive optical probes to measure acute changes in spinal cord blood flow and oxygenation as signs of impending SCI with an immediacy not possible with current electrophysiologic monitors. Dr. Floyd is a board-certified cardiac anesthesiologist and Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He emphasizes, “SCI is devastating. For decades, clinicians have searched for technology to reduce the risk of this complication. Our device may provide a much-needed solution designed to significantly improve patient outcomes.”

KBC successfully led NFOSYS through the appropriate Q-Submission process at FDA, resulting in the Breakthrough Device status for FLOXsp. Our team worked closely with our client and the FDA to achieve this valuable outcome. Breakthrough Device status will allow KBC and NFOSYS to meet frequently with the FDA, resulting in shorter time to market for the FLOXsp device.

CDM Device

Ken Block Consulting helped our UK client Oxford Brain Diagnostics (OBD) gain Breakthrough Device status from the FDA for its Cortical Disarray Measurement (CDM) Software Device, which is intended for evaluating adults at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Very different from the electro-mechanical software-driven technology of our NFOSYS client, the OBD device met both the FDA and the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) definition of Software as a Medical Device (SaMD).

More information about OBD and the CDM technology can be found on our client's website:

Applying the same principles of a successful Breakthrough Device application to this innovative and impactful SaMD, KBC worked closely with OBD to craft the appropriate Q-Submission to the FDA. After successfully achieving this important milestone, KBC was invited by the industry publication Med-Tech Innovation News to describe the process that we employed for gaining BDD status for the CDM device. The resulting published article by KBC can be read in its entirety here:

Programme Breakthrough Device : un raccourci vers le marché américain

In case you want to brush up on your regulatory terminology in another language, please see the following published article that was written by Ken Block for the French language version of DeviceMed magazine, which provides a high-level view of the Breakthrough Device Program (and includes the two KBC clients above as examples of successful BDD applications):

KBC Graphic Breakthrough Device