International collaboration to develop ultrasound-activated
10 February 2009
Nanobiotix, an emerging nanomedicine company has announced that it
will collaborate with the SonoDrugs project consortium to develop new
nanoparticulate drug carriers that can be activated for localized drug
release using focused ultrasound.
The SonoDrugs project consortium includes 15 industry partners,
university medical centres, and academic institutions from throughout
the EU and has a budget of €15.9 million.
The four-year project aims to maximize the therapeutic efficiency and
minimize the side effects of drug treatments for cardiovascular disease
and cancer, the first and second-leading causes of death in the European
The SonoDrugs collaboration aims to develop new materials and drug
nanocarrier systems for improved localized drug delivery that can be
activated by ultrasound waves. MRI and ultrasound will be used to
visualize and guide the drug-delivery process and also to provide
immediate feedback on the success of the procedure, enabling adjustment
and fine-tuning of the therapeutic intervention.
This novel approach to localized drug delivery requires close
collaboration of material science, clinical imaging and pharmaceutical
technology, which is expected to lead to new scientific capabilities,
medical products and therapy solutions for cardiovascular disease and
“This collaboration focuses on developing drug delivery nanocarriers
to enable novel, localized therapeutics for both cardiovascular diseases
and cancer. Local drug delivery is expected to be triggered
noninvasively using focused ultrasound under MRI guidance, which is
intended to be more patient-friendly, since side effects caused by
conventional systemic dosage can, theoretically, be reduced,” said
Laurent Lévy, CEO of Nanobiotix and Co-President of the French
Technology Platform on Nanotechnology (FTPN).
“We intend that the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and those
for cardiovascular disease will be diminished, since targeted delivery
will significantly alter biodistribution and also will lower the amount
of drugs that are needed for treatment.
“By improving such techniques with triggered release from
nanocarriers under image control by MRI and ultrasound, SonoDrugs is
expected to set the stage for more reliable diagnosis and therapy. We
expect to have our first nanocarriers developed within nine months, and
we further expect to have developed our first drug-loaded nanocarriers
within 15 months.
“For Nanobiotix, collaboration with SonoDrugs valorizes the Company’s
know-how in MRI contrast agents and activated therapies as well as
nanoparticle design and manufacturing. Furthermore, the number of
applications and associated markets for Nanobiotix products will be
increased by this collaboration. We are extremely pleased to be a part
of this groundbreaking effort to enhance treatment of cancer and
“The development of new materials and methodologies for image-guided
drug delivery will require the combined strengths of multiple
disciplines,” said Dr Simone Vulto, senior scientist at Philips Research
and co-ordinator of the SonoDrugs project. “In the SonoDrugs project we
are confident that we have brought together the necessary expertise to
make a real contribution to improving the treatment of two of the
world’s killer diseases.”
The 15 collaborators of the SonoDrugs consortium include: Nanobiotix;
Philips Research Europe (Eindhoven); Philips Research Hamburg (Germany);
Erasmus University Medical Center (the Netherlands); Lipoid AG
(Switzerland); Univ. of Münster (Germany); Univ. of Cyprus; Ghent Univ.
(Belgium); Univ. of Helsinki (Finland); Univ. of London; Technical Univ.
of Eindhoven (the Netherlands); Univ. Tours-INSERM (France); Univ.
Victor Segalen Bordeaux (France); Philips Medical Systems MR (Finland);
and, Univ. of Udine (Italy).
Bookmark this page