Minnesota Patent of the Month – December 2022
Based in Oakdale, Minnesota, Alpheus Medical, Inc. is developing a novel sonodynamic therapy platform targeting solid body cancers. Sonodynamic therapy is a proposed form of treatment using drugs that only become cytotoxic when exposed to ultrasound.
Since ultrasound can be focused into small tissue volumes, this treatment method provides the potential for localizing treatment and reducing the risk of side effects elsewhere in the body.
The company’s research, which has recently been granted a patent, is currently focused on treatment of a recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (rGBM). The patent focuses on the use of zero vergence ultrasound waves in their sonodynamic therapy.
The use of zero vergence ultrasound waves ensures there is no convergence or divergence within the waves. This method is achieved using flat piezoelectric transducers placed near the skin surface. A drive signal and transducer are used to modulate the frequency of the ultrasound until zero vergence is achieved. This precision supports the efficacy of these non-invasive treatments, reducing the cost and risk to the patient.
The entire treatment process involves the patient drinking an FDA-approved drug which then accumulates inside the cancer cells. Once loaded with the drug molecules, ultrasound is non-invasively delivered using this zero vergence method. The ultrasound hits the drug molecules, inciting cytotoxicity, releasing a form of oxygen radicals in the cancerous cells and causing cell death. Finally, the immune system eliminates the broken-down cancer cells from the body. Finally, the immune system eliminates the broken-down cancer cells from the body.
The Sonodynamic Brain Cancer Trial will soon be recruiting patients in the United States. The trial is designed to investigate the safety and feasibility of the treatment.
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