SonoTarg has developed a new approach to targeted cancer therapy that enables physicians to specifically activate therapeutics at the site of tumour and minimise the adverse effects associated with conventional chemotherapy.
The technology is based on research co-developed between the Universities of Ulster and Oxford and in close collaboration with leading clinicians at Belfast Hospitals.
Stimuli responsive drug molecules are loaded onto tiny gas bubbles that are injected into the blood stream and then activated at the target site using ultrasound. This concentrates the drug within the tumour and minimises the risk of side-effects elsewhere in the body. The motion of the microbubbles also helps to increase uptake of the drug within the tumour and provides a supply of oxygen to enhance its effect.
Of the top 21 most common types of cancer in the UK, pancreatic has the lowest survival rate – with just 4 percent of patients surviving five years or more – a figure which hasn’t changed in more than 40 years – and more than 200,000 people around the world die from pancreatic cancer annually.
A key challenge is the late stage at which pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed, when the risk associated with surgery and conventional chemotherapy are very high. By enabling targeted therapy with minimal side effects, SonoTarg offers a potential alternative that could significantly improve the outcome for pancreatic cancer patients.
SonoTarg is actively seeking a strategic partner to assist in the further development of this exciting technology. SonoTarg is open to a variety of models for collaboration including partnering a spin-out opportunity, sponsored research, out-licensing and other forms of co-development.
In addition, the inventors of this technology are able to provide valuable know-how and play a significant role in its successful commercialisation. The technology has been successfully patented, establishing freedom to operate and now wishes to move from preclinical to a first-in-human study for pancreatic cancer.