SonoTarg’s cancer therapy technology utilises a special type of stimuli responsive 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.
J Callan, A McHale, E Stride US Patent App. 15/777,831