McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member John Pacella, MD, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, an adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and an interventional cardiologist within the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, and Xiaoning Jiang, PhD, Dean F. Duncan Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the North Carolina State University, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at Duke University, are co-investigators on a novel R33 award as part of the recently launched NHLBI Catalyze Program which aims at “facilitating the transition of basic science discoveries into viable diagnostic and therapeutic candidates cleared for human testing.”
Microvascular Therapeutics (MVT) has received the funds for the project entitled, “Ultrasound-mediated thrombolysis for MVO and PAO treatment,” from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, for its program to treat cardiovascular disease, which kills more Americans than any other disease. As a leader in fluorocarbon technology, MVT is currently developing Phase Shift Microbubbles (PSMB) for several therapeutic applications.
Evan Unger, MD, founder and Interim CEO of MVT said, “This extends our ongoing work in therapeutic PSMB in important ways for patients suffering one of the most difficult to treat diseases. We are optimistic that this will lead to better options for patients.” Dr. Unger has been pioneering the use of fluorocarbons and ultrasound in diagnostics and therapeutics for more than 30 years and is the inventor of Definity®, the leading ultrasound contrast agent.
The team of MVT hope to translate the discoveries to the clinic in collaboration with SonoVascular. “We are very excited to work with Dr. Unger and the team at MVT on the further development of this exciting technology. Dr. Unger has a proven track record of bringing life-saving technologies to the clinic and fluorocarbon phase shift microbubbles have the potential to make a significant impact in patient care,” said Daniel Estay, CEO of SonoVascular. “SonoVascular, in collaboration with Dr. Xiaoning Jiang’s lab at North Carolina State University, has developed an ultrasound catheter technology which is able to treat blood clots and we will be using the PSMB from MVT. We anticipate to jointly develop the technology for treatment of deep vein thrombosis, arterial occlusions, and pulmonary emboli. These are life-threatening diseases that afflict more than one million Americans each year. This new technology combining therapeutic ultrasound with MVT’s PSMB technology has potential to more rapidly and safely treat vascular disease.”
This new grant from the NHLBI will “allow us to improve on the formulation of our products and test them in combination with the technology of SonoVascular to treat blood clots. This work funded by the NHLBI represents one step closer towards clinical testing,” says the Principal Investigator of the award, Emmanuelle Meuillet, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of MVT.