Bracco Imaging has launched a new effort at its Switzerland-based R&D center to evaluate gas-filled microbubbles, usually used for diagnostic imaging, as a delivery vehicle for personalized gene therapies to treat chronic dysfunctional diseases linked to lipid metabolism.
The research project is part of a deal that Bracco signed with startup SonoGene, which is developing platforms for the therapeutic delivery of genes and drugs using ultrasound-triggered microbubble delivery systems.
“Today’s kick-off of new research activities provides an additional opportunity to exploit the microbubble platform and create an innovative therapeutic approach to addressing unmet medical needs,” Thierry Bettinger, director of the research department at Bracco, said in prepared remarks.
“We consider the personalized gene therapy under evaluation as an opportunity to expand the use of the microbubble platform. We are looking for a large number of biomedical applications, and are confident that our technology can be used to address a wide range of healthcare challenges.”
“SonoGene’s early animal studies successfully showed that tiny microbubbles can deliver genes to a targeted organ system and produce a desired therapeutic effect,” Dr. Steven Feinstein, co-president of the International Contrast Ultrasound Society, added. “SonoGene’s gene therapy can ultimately harness the body’s own biological mechanisms to provide a natural form of therapy.”
“Our investments to exploit innovative approaches of the microbubble platform reinforce our commitment and leadership in ultrasound, while fostering future applications of this technique beyond diagnostic imaging,” chief strategy officer Micol Fornaroli said.
“SonoGene is excited to collaborate with Bracco Imaging and leverage our unique and extensive expertise in the development of microbubble-based gene and drug delivery systems to save lives and improve patient care,” SonoGene CEO Eric Coles said.