GE HealthCare and Novo Nordisk are collaborating to further advance the clinical and product development of peripheral focused ultrasound (PFUS), a novel technology that has potential to specifically regulate metabolic function in the body using ultrasound that may support the treatment of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
PFUS is a non-invasive type of bioelectronic medicine that uses ultrasound to activate the nervous system to stimulate a response that may be able to treat disease. Pre-clinical proof of concept and initial early-stage clinical research suggests that it may impact glucose metabolism in people with diabetes via personalized ultrasound stimulation of nerve pathways. If validated with further clinical evidence, PFUS could represent a non-pharmacologic approach to normalize blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The existing technology was developed by a team of scientists at GE HealthCare’s HealthCare Technology and Innovation Center, formerly part of the GE Research Center.
“In an era where diabetes is increasing around the globe, we are enthusiastic about the potential for ultrasound to help people live healthier lives,” said Roland Rott, President and CEO, Ultrasound, GE HealthCare. “This collaboration with Novo Nordisk opens a path to evolve ultrasound from a means of screening and diagnosis into therapy, as well. We are eager to validate and further develop this potentially groundbreaking science, as we strive to offer patients alternative treatment options for chronic diseases.”
As part of the collaboration, GE HealthCare and Novo Nordisk will contribute their respective expertise in ultrasound medical technology and metabolic disease treatment and management as both parties work together to develop a PFUS solution to improve patient care, building upon the extensive foundational research done to date by the GE HealthCare team. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We look forward to exploring the potential impact this technology could have on treating people with type 2 diabetes and obesity, as significant unmet needs remain in these diseases in spite of recent advances in care,” said Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President and Head of Development at Novo Nordisk. “Although early, the possibilities of using ultrasound for therapeutic purposes are compelling and we welcome our collaboration with GE HealthCare in this truly novel area.”
GE researchers (left to right): Victoria Cotero, a senior scientist in biosciences, senior electrical engineer Jeffrey Ashe and senior biomedical engineer Christopher Puleo, with a prototype of the ultrasound modulation device at GE’s research campus in Niskayuna, NY. (Courtesy: General Electric)