Bridge Discovery Award to Prof. Yanik’s team for translating non-invasive focal brain drug delivery technology to clinic
Treatment of brain disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and epilepsy remain a formidable challenge despite the significant advances made in our understanding of the basic neurobiology. In addition to reasons for therapeutic failures specific to each brain disorder, there is a common underlying problem: Brain disorders often originate from dysfunctions of specific brain regions and circuits. Yet, clinically non-invasive treatments rely on systemic drugs and are incapable of targeting desired brain areas and circuits specifically with chemical precision. Prof. Yanik and his team recently developed a novel technology for non-invasive focal drug delivery to the brain circuits using focused ultrasound (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18059-7). While this technology's intense development has been supported by ERC Consolidator award, the SNSF and Innosuisse now granted 2.2 Mio CHF to translate this technology to clinic. Together with neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Hugelshofer (University Hospital Zurich), and Dr. Henning Richter (Vetsuisse Faculty), Prof. Yanik’s team will demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this drug delivery technology in preclinical large-animal models.