Norwegian biotech firm Phoenix Solutions has partnered with US-based biomedical research facility Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to trial the use of ultrasound for targeted cancer therapy.
Ultrasound is commonly used for imaging organs, monitoring blood flow and foetal development, minimising back pain and breaking up kidney stones.
During the partnership, TGen will test the effectiveness of a technology called Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT), which has been designed to direct and focus pulsed sound waves on cancer cells.
This targeted approach for the delivery of chemotherapies is expected to improve efficacy while decreasing their toxicity as patients are not exposed to ionising radiation.
It is further hoped to be generally painless and non-invasive, eliminating the need for needles, injections or incisions.
TGen is set to validate a clinically applicable hardware optimised for ACT. The hardware is being developed by South Korea-based ultrasound diagnostic imaging manufacturer, Humanscan.
The research is being sponsored by Phoenix Solutions with funds obtained through Innovation Norway.
Phoenix Solutions CEO Dr Per Sontum said: “We are very pleased to receive this grant, which will enable us to develop and validate an optimal ultrasound platform for clinical use of ACT.
“In their respective fields, Humanscan and TGen both represent the cutting edge of science, and we are confident this will contribute to the clinical success of our programme.”
Initially, the firm plans to evaluate the technology in clinical trials for pancreatic cancer, with scope for other types such as liver, prostate and triple-negative breast cancer and other diseases such as inflammatory and central nervous system disorders.