Welcome to the March 2010 issue of the FUSF newsletter.
As part of our on-going series of company profiles, we introduce you to Celsion Corporation. This Maryland-based biotech is emerging as a leader in developing nanomedicines for heat-activated targeted drug delivery.
Through clinical trials around the world and a major collaboration with Royal Philips Electronics, Celsion is evaluating its first product, ThermoDox, as a treatment for several of the most lethal and difficult to treat cancers. Potential indications include primary liver cancer, recurrent chest wall breast cancer, metastatic bone cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
This month’s other stories provide an update on our Research Awards Program, the Foundation’s upcoming international Symposium and its support of other industry meetings.
The heat is on at Celsion
Small biotech is making giant strides in heat-mediated targeted drug delivery
Noninvasive, heat-based nanotechnology is moving closer to dramatically changing cancer therapy. In the near future, this technology will be used to deliver chemotherapy directly to the site of a tumor. The new approach will minimize toxic side effects while maximizing treatment efficacy. Though small in size (17 employees), Maryland-based Celsion Corporation is making a huge impact on this important and emerging area of medicine. The company is now sponsoring clinical trials in which its first investigational drug, ThermoDox, is being combined with ablative and non-ablative heating sources to treat primary liver cancer and recurrent chest wall breast cancer. Celsion is also engaged in a partnership with Royal Philips Electronics to combine MR-guided FUS with ThermoDox to treat liver, pancreatic and secondary bone tumors.
Laurent Leksell and Kullervo Hynynen will be featured speakers at 2nd International MR-guided FUS Symposium
Two pioneers in the field of noninvasive mage-guided treatments – one an internationally-known entrepreneur and business executive, the other a physicist and world-class academic researcher – will be among the featured speakers at the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound in Washington, D.C. from October 17-20, 2010.
Laurent Leksell, co-founder and former president and CEO of Gamma Knife maker Elekta AB, will deliver the symposium’s keynote Batten Family Lecture. Leading focused ultrasound researcher Kullervo H. Hynynen, PhD, will present the David and Diane Heller Lecture. As announced in our February newsletter, Hynynen is also serving as symposium president.
Our External Research Awards Program is now accepting 2010 proposals for preclinical projects and pilot clinical trials involving MR-guided focused ultrasound technology. Typically, awards provide $100,000 in funding for one year.
The program accepts and evaluates applications on a rolling basis. Applicants are asked to submit abstracts as a first step in accordance with online guidelines and application forms. Funding decisions will be based on scores, comments and recommendations provided by an independent Research Advisory Committee.
• May 22-25 2010, FUSF is sponsoring a symposium at the 15th Meeting of theEuropean Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics in Madrid Spain. Entitled, “Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound: An Emerging Technology for the Treatment of Stroke,” the symposium is scheduled for Monday, May 24. Featured speakers are Dr. S. Meairs (Mannheim, Germany); Dr. J. F. Aubry. (Paris, France); Dr. Thilo Hoelscher (San Diego, USA); Dr. S.Harnof (Tel Hashomer, Israel).
• June 9-12, FUSF will be a sponsor of the 10th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound in Tokyo, Japan. Still under development, the scientific program will include a special session about MR-guided focused ultrasound as well as presentations about the combination of drugs and ultrasound energy involving gene therapy, sonoporation, transdermal drug delivery, microbubbles, chemotherapy, sonodynamic therapy and cardiovascular applications.