Blog

Watch Now: Webinar on Focused Ultrasound and Alzheimer's Disease

Published:
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a looming health crisis and, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately six million people in the US aged 65 or older living with AD. This number is projected to nearly triple by 2060. It is estimated that the cost associated with treating the disease in the US could reach $500 billion annually by 2040. There is no cure for AD, but focused ultrasound, a revolutionary medical technology, is a novel approach to noninvasively open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in the hopes of clearing amyloid plaques and tau proteins, hypothesized to be a possible cause for AD. Opening the BBB with focused ultrasound may also provide a method to facilitate the delivery of medications that alone cannot cross the BBB, and/or to allow for increased concentrations of drugs to reach the desired target. In recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day this September, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation partnered with George Vradenburg, chairman and co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and John R. Dwyer, Jr., president of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, to host a webinar on focused ultrasound for Alzheimer’s disease.  The primary speaker was Sandra Black, OC, O.Ont., MD, FRSC, renowned neurologist, senior scientist, and director of the Dr. Sandra Black Centre for Brain Resilience & Recovery at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto. Dr. Black discussed the current status of AD treatments and the potential of focused ultrasound to overcome current barriers.  Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, director of the Harquail Centre of Neuromodulation at Sunnybrook, and a leading researcher in focused ultrasound and AD, provided an overview of progress with focused ultrasound and AD, highlighting current clinical trials. Insightec’s Chief Strategic Innovation Officer Arjun (JJ) Desai, MD, highlighted the innovative Florida Brain State Initiative, a collaboration between three prominent medical schools, state government, and industry (Insightec) to fund a multicenter focused ultrasound clinical trial for AD. Finally, a live Q&A with the speakers and John Dwyer was moderated by the Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships Suzanne LeBlang, MD, and George Vradenburg. Presenters Sandra Black, OC, O.Ont., MD, FRSCNeurologist, Senior Scientist, and Director of the Dr. Sandra Black Centre for Brain Resilience & Recovery Sunnybrook Research Institute Nir Lipsman, MD, PhDNeurosurgeon and Director of the Harquail Centre of NeuromodulationSunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Arjun (JJ) Desai, MDChief Strategic Innovation OfficerInsightec Partners John R. Dwyer, Jr.PresidentGlobal Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation John R. Dwyer, Jr., is the President of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) Foundation, a patient-centric nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of reducing the time and cost while improving the quality and diversity of AD and other central nervous system therapeutic clinical studies. Prior to GAP, he served as the co-founder and Chairman of Telcare, Inc. (Phillips Medisize), a high technology manufacturer of the first wirelessly enabled blood glucose meter system empowering patients with diabetes to better manage their disease. Mr. Dwyer co-founded Us Against Alzheimer’s, a patient advocacy group focused on changing the way the country addresses the threat posed by Alzheimer’s. He also cofounded the first political action committee focused on a specific disease, the Alzheimer’s Action PAC. He is a graduate of Marquette University and the Cornell Law School. George VradenburgChairman and Co-founderUSAgainstAlzheimer’s George Vradenburg is the Chairman and Co-Founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2), a disruptive and catalytic force committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, a coalition focused on driving global scientific, business, policy, and financial coordination in Alzheimer’s preparedness that was co-convened in January 2020 by the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease and the World Economic Forum. In this role, Mr. Vradenburg provides general oversight and advocacy and works to ensure the Collaborative remains sustainable and action-oriented. In 2011, the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services named himto serve on the National Alzheimer’s Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services for the first-of-its-kind National Alzheimer’s Strategic Plan. He received his BA from Oberlin College, magna cum laude, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his JD from Harvard Law School, cum laude.
Read More ...

Focused Ultrasound—Enhanced Drug Delivery Using The Glymphatic System  

Published:
Key Points Researchers recently published the results from a preclinical study on focused ultrasound–enhanced intrathecal drug delivery to the brain.Intrathecal transfer uses the glymphatic system – which is responsible for clearing waste using perivascular channels.The focused ultrasound protocol was successful, safe, and significantly effective for increasing the uptake of small molecules in the brain. The focused ultrasound enabled a greater transfer of molecules from the CSF to the brain tissue compared to the control arm, as illustrated above by a contrast agent. Image source: Muna Aryal, Matine M. Azadian, Alex R. Hart, Nicholas Macedo, Quan Zhou, Eben L. Rosenthal, Raag D. Airan. Noninvasive ultrasonic induction of cerebrospinal fluid flow enhances intrathecal drug delivery. Journal of Controlled Release. Volume 349,2022. Noninvasive Ultrasonic Induction of Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow Enhances Intrathecal Drug Delivery A research team based at Stanford University and Loyola University Chicago recently published the results from a preclinical study on focused ultrasound–enhanced intrathecal drug delivery to the brain. Intrathecal transfer uses the glymphatic system (a waste clearance system that uses a unique system of perivascular channels) to transfer molecules between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain tissue. The investigators designed and conducted several focused ultrasound experiments to improve drug uptake from CSF to the brain, a process that has traditionally been ineffective. The low-intensity transcranial protocol was tested preclinically with both small and large molecular agents. It was successful, safe, and effective for significantly increasing the uptake of large molecules and biologics. The team was able to move both large and small molecules from the CSF into the perivascular space, as confirmed by MRI and histological analysis. Beyond drug delivery, the authors concluded that the technique may also be useful for investigating the glymphatic system’s role in other disease processes. See the Journal of Controlled Release > Related Stories Transcranial Focused Ultrasound for Enhanced Glymphatic-Based Delivery of Antibodies for Brain Imaging and Therapy – winner of the 2021 National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Catalyst Award
Read More ...

Lorraine Spurge Joins Foundation’s Council

Published:
Key Points Lorraine Spurge has more than 40 years of business and financial experience.She is the Senior Managing Partner of Hamilton Wealth Group, LLC, a multi-family office that invests in growth companies.The Council is a dedicated group who provide advice and assist with raising funds and building awareness. The Foundation is pleased to welcome Lorraine Spurge to the Council, a dedicated group of goodwill ambassadors who work closely with the Board of Directors and staff to provide advice and assist with raising funds and building awareness. “After decades of building middle-market companies and asset management firms, I’ve decided to focus on organizations that are saving lives,” said Ms. Spurge. “The Focused Ultrasound Foundation, led by Dr. Kassell, has fashioned a transformative future of healthcare. The progress in advancing this technology for cancers, brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and many other conditions has been truly amazing. I am challenged by the enormous tasks ahead, and I am proud to be part of this amazing effort and to be associated with such an esteemed team of professionals.” Ms. Spurge has more than 40 years of business and financial experience and is the Senior Managing Partner of Hamilton Wealth Group, LLC (HWG), a multi-family office that invests in growth companies. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ms. Spurge rose to be one of the most successful women on Wall Street, raising more than $200 billion as a senior member of the capital markets group for Drexel Burnham Lambert.  Among a list of over 200 distinguished companies, she helped finance MCI Communications, McCaw Cellular, Newscorp, AOL/TimeWarner, Lorimar-Telepictures, Healthtrust, Charter Medical, Safeway Stores, and RJR Nabisco. For over two decades, she has been a serial entrepreneur and CEO at International Capital Access, Knowledge Exchange, Spurge Ink!, and Maplestone Capital Advisors. Ms. Spurge and her husband, the former Chief Investment Officer for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, helped build the asset management business for several investment firms, including Metropolitan West Financial, Post Advisory Group, and Guggenheim Partners. An active motivational speaker, Ms. Spurge has been a media commentator for KCBS morning news, CNN, and CNBC. She was a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has authored several books, and at UCLA, she helped author and distribute the first multimedia, interactive case study on MCI Communications (which has since been used by many US and international business schools). Ms. Spurge currently serves on the boards of EEM, Involvy, Nupulse, and Working Nation, and is a mentor for Women in America. She is an emeritus board member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and has served on the Board of the Geffen Playhouse as well as the Board of Advisors for George Washington University. “Lorraine’s expertise in the business and finance fields is unmatched, and we look forward to imploring her guidance as the field of focused ultrasound evolves into the commercial space,” said Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “The industry is increasingly open to investors that can help bring focused ultrasound to the patients, and we are excited to have Lorraine on board to help accelerate this technology.”
Read More ...

Liver Tumor FUS Histotripsy Trial Results: Treatment is Safe and Predictable

Published:
Key Points A new publication provides data to demonstrate that the first-in-human histotripsy treatment for liver tumors was safe and predictable in all eight patients.The clinical trial was performed in Spain with HistoSonics’ prototype focused ultrasound system.Larger clinical trials, called #HOPE4LIVER, are now underway in the US and Europe. First-In-Man Histotripsy of Hepatic Tumors: The THERESA Trial, a Feasibility Study A new publication provides data to demonstrate that the first-in-human histotripsy treatment for liver tumors was safe and predictable in all eight patients. The clinical trial (NCT 03741088), called the THERESA Study, was performed at three locations in Spain with HistoSonics’ prototype focused ultrasound system. The phase 1, multicenter clinical trial enrolled 8 patients (median age 60.4 years) with 11 unresectable, end-stage primary (n=1) and metastatic (n=10) liver tumors. The metastases came from colorectal (5 patients), breast (1 patient), and bile duct (1 patient) cancers. “We have seen in the THERESA trial an outstanding impact on patients,” said Joan Vidal-Jové, MD, PhD, the study’s principal investigator. “The response of the immune system shows us the tremendous possibilities of histotripsy technology to interact with immunotherapies.” The treated tumors had an average diameter of 1.4 cm. Acute technical success, which was the study’s primary endpoint, was achieved in all procedures. There were no device-related adverse events, so the study also met its secondary endpoint, which was safety. After the eight-week follow-up period, the researchers noted that tumor marker measurements from two of the eight patients had continually declined after treatment. Larger histotripsy clinical trials, called #HOPE4LIVER, are now underway at eight hospitals in the United States and six hospitals in Europe. See the International Journal of Hyperthermia >Read a Press Release from HistoSonics > Related StoriesMeeting Report: Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) 2022 July 2022Focused Ultrasound Liver Tumor Treatment Receives CMS Reimbursement November 2021HistoSonics Focused Ultrasound Platform Receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation October 2021HistoSonics Announces New Procedure Code for Liver Treatment July 2021Liver Tumor Clinical Trial Approved to Begin in Europe January 2021Investigator Profile: Joan Vidal-Jové, MD, PhD December 2020Investigator Profile: Eli Vlaisavljevich, PhD December 2020HistoSonics Initiates First Liver Tumor Clinical Trial in the US October 2020Case Report: Histotripsy-Induced Abscopal Effect in Liver Tumors June 2020Results of First-In-Human Focused Ultrasound Histotripsy Trial for Liver Cancer Presented February 2020HistoSonics Hosts First Annual Histotripsy Summit November 2019Company Profile: The Reinvention of HistoSonics November 2019
Read More ...
Focused Ultrasound for Parkinson’s Disease: Results of First Clinical Trial to Deliver Therapeutics New Interactive Map Provides Global Perspective on Focused Ultrasound Improving Focused Ultrasound Brain Treatments with MRI Imaging Patent Strategy for Business Advantage: Insights for Focused Ultrasound Manufacturers Register for a Webinar on Accessing Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Grants

Categories