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Philips hopes ultrasound unlocks potential of gene therapy

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 17, 2010

In the planned joint therapy, the specially designed RNAi drug would be injected with micro-bubbles. The clinician would then deliver focused ultrasound pulses at the tumor or other target. The pulses would break up the micro-bubbles, causing them to make micro-tears in the surrounding tissue where the ultrasound pulse was delivered, allowing the drug to get absorbed. The doctors can also use ultrasound to image this action to ensure the drug goes to the right target.

"We can visualize the arrival of the bubbles in the target organ, the focused ultrasound pulse and the subsequent rupturing of the bubbles," said Steve Klink, a spokesman for Philips. "It's a great combination of two technologies, one which is extremely potent at getting the drug into the cell once it contacts the cell; the other one is capable of keeping the drug internalized and releasing it at its target in the body."

Philips said, in the long run, the company is interested in researching cardiology and oncology. "But we are still at this early stage. So at this point, it's not focused on a particular disease yet," Klink said.

The partnership comes after similar collaborations with Celsion and GlyGenix Therapeutics, as well as the launch of the Philips-led SonoDrugs project, which all involve using experimental drugs activated by Philips' equipment, the company said.

Read More from DOTmed News:

Philips Leads European "Sonodrugs" Project

Philips Combines Ultrasound With Cancer Drug Delivery

An Interview With Dr. Barry Goldberg

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