SonoTarg’s cancer therapy technology utilises a special type of stimuli response drug (sonosensitiser) that only becomes active when it is exposed to ultrasound. Thus it can be injected into the blood stream without producing toxic side effects elsewhere in the body.
Ultrasound can be focused precisely at the site of a tumour, thereby ensuring that the drug is only activated within the target region.
The sonosensitiser molecules are loaded onto microscopic bubbles consisting of a biocompatible shell filled with oxygen. When the bubbles are exposed to ultrasound they catalyse the activation of the drug, whilst the oxygen increases its efficacy by promoting the production of reactive oxygen species. SonoTarg microbubbles are also loaded with a very small quantity of a conventional chemotherapy drug that further boosts the action of the sonosensitiser, but without causing toxicity.
SonoTarg microbubbles can be stimulated using low intensity ultrasound that can be generated using existing clinical devices. In addition to activating the drug, the motion of the microbubbles induced by the ultrasound field also helps to “pump” the drug deeper into the tumour tissue. It also produces an acoustic signal that allows the treatment to be monitored using an ultrasound scanner outside the body to ensure accurate targeting.
E. Beguin, S. Shrivastava, N. Dezhkunov, A. McHale, J. Callan, E. Stride
Direct evidence of multi-bubble sonoluminescence using therapeutic ultrasound and microbubbles
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11, 19913−19919 (2019)
K. Logan, F. Foglietta, H. Nesbitt, Y. Sheng, T. McKaig, S. Kamila, J. Gao, N. Nomikou, B. Callan, AP McHale and J. Callan
Gemcitabine loaded Microbubbles for Targeted Chemo-Sonodynamic Therapy of Pancreatic Cancer.
Journal of Controlled Release 279: 8-16 (2018)
C. McEwan, S. Kamila, J. Owen, H. Nesbitt, M. Taylor, M. Borden, E. Stride, A. McHale, J. Callan
Combined Sonodynamic and Antimetabolite Therapy for the Improved Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer using Oxygen Loaded Microbubbles as a Delivery Vehicle
Biomaterials 80:20-32 (2016)
C. McEwan, J. Owen, E. Stride, C. Fowley, H. Nesbitt, D. Cochrane, C. Coussios, M. Borden, A. McHale and J. Callan
Oxygen Carrying Microbubbles for Enhanced Sonodynamic Therapy of Hypoxic Tumours
Journal of Controlled Release 203: 51–56 (2015)
Microbubble-chemotherapeutic agent complex for sonodynamic therapy
J Callan, A McHale, E Stride US Patent App. 15/777,831