Nanodropper Awarded a Phase II SBIR Contract With U.S. Air Force

Aug 26, 2020 | Our Company | 0 comments

Nanodropper, Inc., a medical device company offering a first-of-its-kind eyedrop bottle adaptor that reduces eyedrop size, has been named the recipient of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with the United States Air Force.

The Nanodropper adaptor was inspired by a 2017 ProPublica article detailing just how much medication waste there is in America, specifically eyedrops that are too big. The adaptor, an FDA-listed, Class I medical device, reduces the size of a typical eyedrop by more than 60 percent, stretching the life of an eyedrop bottle by several months. The adaptor easily screws on over the tip of most eyedrop bottles.

“Our Phase II contract with the Air Force will help us develop an extension of our current solution to oversized eyedrops to meet the needs of the Air Force patient population, and beyond,” said Mackenzie Andrews, Nanodropper’s Chief Commercialization Officer.


The SBIR program is run by AFWERX, a community of Air Force innovators who act as a catalyst for Air Force engagement across industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants, and decrease bureaucratic overhead. The goal of the program is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force by enabling thoughtful, deliberate, ground-up innovation across the Air Force.

“The AFWERX program created an opportunity for collaboration with Air Force medical centers that never would have been possible with the traditional contracting process. We are grateful for the innovative work the AFWERX team is doing and looking forward to developing solutions for the USAF,” said Jennifer Steger, PhD, Nanodropper’s Chief Scientific Officer.

The Phase II contract builds upon Nanodropper’s Phase I SBIR contract, which totaled more than $49,000 to help the Air Force advance technology innovations for service members. Phase II contracts can be worth up to $1.5 million in additional funding.

About Nanodropper, Inc.

Nanodropper was founded by University of Washington alumni Allisa Song, Mackenzie Andrews, and Dr. Jennifer Steger, along with Seattle University alum Elias Baker. Song read the ProPublica article that inspired the Nanodropper adaptor and recruited the rest of the team along the way. They would go on to win more than 20 awards, including the 2019 Holloman Health Innovation Challenge Grand Prize and the 2018 Johns Hopkins Student Healthcare Design Competition first prize in global health/humanitarian design. Nanodropper has been highlighted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Seattle Times, GeekWire and many other publications, including their original inspiration: ProPublica.

“Our mission is to ease the burden on patients by putting money back in their pocket,” said Song, Nanodropper’s CEO. “Patients with diseases like glaucoma can save thousands of dollars per year just by using the Nanodropper with their prescribed eyedrop medication.”

To learn more about Nanodropper, or to purchase an adaptor (currently listed at $14.99), visit www.nanodropper.com.

Our Mission

Nanodropper offers value-based solutions to close health equity gaps while promoting patient education and advocacy. Named after the company’s flagship product, Nanodropper has developed a patient-centered adaptor for eyedrop bottles to reduce the volume of currently oversized eyedrops by more than 60 percent. This will help reduce cost, decrease waste, and minimize potential side effects of vision-saving treatments. Nanodropper’s products and educational content will help patients navigate issues like vision insurance, eye doctor appointments, and deploying their resources in an efficient way. These initiatives align with Nanodropper’s mission of helping patients take back control of their eye health. Visit www.nanodropper.com to learn more.

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