SonoThera announced that it received exclusive global commercial licensing rights from GE HealthCare (NYSE:GEHC) for two of its microbubble products.
South San Francisco-based SonoThera received the rights for the Optison and Sonazoid microbubble products. It uses them in the development of its novel, ultrasound-guided nonviral gene therapy platform.
According to SonoThera co-founder and CEO Kenneth Greenberg, the company aims to develop the next generation of non-viral genetic therapies. These therapies would feature capabilities for selective delivery to “multiple target organs in a safe and efficacious manner.”
“Our preclinical testing has demonstrated that the platform can address many of the key delivery challenges facing current gene therapy approaches,” Greenberg said.
SonoThera’s ultrasound-guided platform uses sonoporation. This microbubble-mediated biophysical process non-invasively delivers genetic payloads of diverse formats and sizes. It selectively targets a wide range of organs within the body. Unlike traditional gene therapies, it does not require viral vectors, SonoThera said.
The companies declined to disclose the terms of the licensing agreement. SonoThera currently has the technology under pre-clinical development as it prepares for Phase 1 clinical trials.
“SonoThera’s development of an ultrasound-guided, nonviral gene platform aligns with our dedication to providing innovative, precision care and therapies to patients in order to improve their healthcare outcomes,” said Sigrid Fossheim, global ultrasound product leader at GE HealthCare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics unit. “We believe what SonoThera is developing has the potential to improve patient care by overcoming the current challenges of existing gene therapies.”