Under a new agreement, Bracco Imaging’s gas-filled microbubbles will power SonoThera’s ultrasound-guided gene therapy platform

Diagnostic imaging company Bracco Imaging SpA and biotech company, SonoThera, Inc, announce an agreement under which Bracco Imaging will provide its gas-filled microbubbles technology platform to SonoThera for use in the development of ultrasound-guided nonviral gene therapy platform.

“We are delighted to have signed this new agreement with SonoThera,” shared Thierry Bettinger, PhD, Director of Bracco Research Center in Geneva. “The combination of Bracco’s innovative gas microbubbles platform with SonoThera’s ongoing development of a nonviral gene delivery platform will undoubtedly advance development in this novel approach to gene therapy.”

As part of the agreement, Bracco Imaging will grant SonoThera a non-exclusive license to use Bracco’s microbubbles for research purposes.

“SonoThera is pleased to partner with a leader in microbubble development and commercialization such as Bracco,” says Kenneth Greenberg, PhD, co-founder and CEO of SonoThera. “As we develop a new generation of genetic therapies, important collaborations such as this make it possible to find alternative pathways to viral vectors, potentially increasing safety and efficacy.”

Company leaders say that this combination of ultrasound energy with microbubbles allows transient permeability of vessel walls and cell membranes to enable the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acid payloads. Reportedly, the agreement will allow SonoThera to explore the potential of this approach to facilitate the delivery of various genetic materials to target cells/organs with minimal off-target delivery.