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Posted: January 29, 2009
Nanobiotix Joins European SonoDrugs Consortium
(Nanowerk News) Nanobiotix, an emerging nanomedicine company, announced today that it will collaborate with, among others, Philips, Erasmus University Medical Center (The Netherlands), the University of Münster (Germany) and the University of London in a four-year project known as ‘SonoDrugs’ — which aims to maximize the therapeutic efficiency and minimize the side effects of drug treatments for cardiovascular disease and cancer, the first- and second-leading causes, respectively, of death in the European Union (EU).
The SonoDrugs project includes a total of 15 industry partners, university medical centers, and academic institutions from throughout the EU and has a budget of $19 million (15.9 million Euros).
“We intend that the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs and those for cardiovascular disease will be diminished, since targeted delivery will significantly alter biodistribution and also will lower the amount of drugs that are needed for treatment,” said Laurent Lévy, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nanobiotix and Co-President of the French Technology Platform on Nanotechnology (FTPN). “By improving such techniques with triggered release from nanocarriers under image control by MRI and ultrasound, SonoDrugs is expected to set the stage for more reliable diagnosis and therapy. We expect to have our first nanocarriers developed within nine months, and we further expect to have developed our first drug-loaded nanocarriers within 15 months.”
“For Nanobiotix, collaboration with SonoDrugs valorizes the Company’s know-how in MRI contrast agents and activated therapies as well as nanoparticle design and manufacturing,” said Dr. Lévy. “Furthermore, the number of applications and associated markets for Nanobiotix products will be increased by this collaboration. We are extremely pleased to be a part of this groundbreaking effort to enhance treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease.”
“The development of new materials and methodologies for image-guided drug delivery will require the combined strengths of multiple disciplines,” said Simone Vulto, Ph.D., senior scientist at Philips Research and coordinator of the SonoDrugs project. “In the SonoDrugs project we are confident that we have brought together the necessary expertise to make a real contribution to improving the treatment of two of the world’s killer diseases.”
The SonoDrugs collaboration aims to develop new materials and drug nanocarrier systems for improved localized drug delivery that can be activated by ultrasound waves. MRI and ultrasound will be used to visualize and guide the drug-delivery process and also to provide immediate feedback on the success of the procedure, enabling adjustment and fine-tuning of the therapeutic intervention. This novel approach to localized drug delivery requires close collaboration of material science, clinical imaging and pharmaceutical technology, which is expected to lead to new scientific capabilities, medical products and therapy solutions for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The 15 collaborators of the “SonoDrugs” consortium include: Nanobiotix; Philips Research Europe (Eindhoven); Philips Research Hamburg (Germany); Erasmus University Medical Center (the Netherlands); Lipoid AG (Switzerland); Univ. of Münster (Germany); Univ. of Cyprus; Ghent Univ. (Belgium); Univ. of Helsinki (Finland); Univ. of London; Technical Univ. of Eindhoven (the Netherlands); Univ. Tours-INSERM (France); Univ. Victor Segalen Bordeaux (France); Philips Medical Systems MR (Finland); and, Univ. of Udine (Italy).
Nanobiotix is an emerging nanomedicine company combining dramatic advances in nanotechnology and molecular biology to develop nanoXray™— a technology platform that is expected to be turned ‘on’ and ‘off’ outside the body to selectively treat a variety of cancers safely and noninvasively. Use of nanoXray is intended to resolve radiation therapy’s biggest drawback: destruction of healthy tissue and its subsequent deleterious side effects when a high dose of Xray is necessary. The core of a nanoXray nanoparticle is an inactive and inert substance—not a drug—that can be activated to locally (intratumor) increase the dose of Xray, which is then expected to lead to higher efficiency. After nanoXray nanoparticles accumulate in the target tissues, a standard X-ray is applied that is intended to generate a local therapeutic effect, designed to destroy only the targeted tumor cells. This mechanism suggests total control of the intended therapeutic effect.