Focal Drug Delivery Workshop 2011
This invitational event
was held at the request of researchers in the FUS community who believe the foundation can add unique value by serving as a nexus of collaboration through workshops and working groups in the area of focused ultrasound-mediated drug delivery.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Provide a forum for collaboration
- Establish and/or validate the priority indications defined at the Core Stakeholder meeting
- Develop a clear path to clinical implementation in 2–3 indications through research roadmap development
Emphasis of the workshop was on technical feasibility of research questions as well as development and refinement of research road maps created by the Core Stakeholder group in the top 3 clinical applications of FUS-mediated drug delivery.
The workshop brought together 63 participants, from 10 countries, representing 36 institutions – including clinicians, scientists, and engineers from academia, industry and governmental agencies. Participants universally affirmed the workshop’s success in providing a forum for collaboration.
The 2011 Focal Drug Delivery Workshop met each of its three stated objectives:
- Foster collaboration – The two-day agenda was structured to facilitate lively and productive discussion among representatives of the international research community, industry and government. Small group breakout sessions centered on priority indications and enabled participants to share theirvarying perspectives and define collaborative opportunities. Participants also identified key research questions and suggested foundation funding priorities.
- Confirm priority indications – Brain, pancreas and liver cancer emerged as the top priority indications with prostate and head and neck cancers viewed has more futuristic in nature. Participants discussed promising pre-clinical research related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and agreed that new focal drug delivery treatments for these debilitating conditions could imminently enter development. Choices were based on clinical potential and the priority list developed at last year’s core stakeholder meeting.
- Finalize fast-track R&D roadmaps for top indications – During breakout sessions, workshop participants revised and/or finalized the research roadmaps that had been drafted by the core stakeholder group. They identified and outlined the key experiments needed to advance clinical applications in pancreas, liver and brain cancers.
FUSF Take-away recommendation for the foundation’s Role in FUS-TDD:
- Formation of Drug Delivery Working Groups – Workshop attendees will be invited to continue their discussions and collaborations by participating in the Drug Delivery Working Group, which will communicate via the foundation’s online Collaborative Research Network.
- Steering Committee review and recommendations – A Drug Delivery Program Steering Committee will conduct feasibility assessments of roadmap initiatives and key experiments identified at the workshop and make recommendations to the Foundation.
- Foundation funding – Based on Steering Committee recommendations, the foundation will provide funding to selected research projects.