FAU and Insightec Join Forces to Harness Focused Ultrasound to Combat Neurological Disorders

On his exciting trade mission trip to Israel, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a groundbreaking agreement between Florida Atlantic University and Insightec – a global healthcare company based in Haifa.

The collaboration will allow FAU and Insightec to work together to advance the use of focused ultrasound to treat a variety of brain diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This marks an exciting step forward in the fight against these conditions.

Insightec’s innovative technology harnesses acoustic energy to treat diseases in ways that were previously impossible. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a means of creating lesions to treat Parkinson’s disease.

The system is also being used to non-invasively modulate and disrupt the blood-brain barrier, an essential network of blood vessels that keeps harmful substances out of the brain, but also prevents the uptake of most pharmaceuticals. This technique opens up a new opportunity to treat brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, without invasive procedures.

FAU and Insightec are joining forces to revolutionize treatments for neurological diseases. Through the use of focused ultrasound, the two will explore the delivery of therapeutic drugs across the blood-brain barrier and optimize HIFU and low intensity focused ultrasound to modify the way the nervous system operates – all in pre-clinical settings. Together, they are poised to make a major impact in the medical world.

Florida Atlantic University is excited to partner with Insightec to advance therapies that will have a profound impact on brain health and make advanced care more accessible to patients. This initiative is a testament to Governor DeSantis’ commitment to placing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease at the forefront of health issues in the state of Florida. Brad Levine, FAU Board of Trustees chair, expressed his appreciation for the Governor’s vision and ongoing support.

FAU and Insightec have come together in a mutual agreement to combine their combined clinical and technical expertise to further research of neurological conditions. FAU will provide their preclinical and basic science research capabilities, as well as their capacities to conduct clinical research, while Insightec will provide their research and development expertise and pre-clinical and clinical experience with the focused ultrasound platform. Together, the two entities hope to further the research and understanding of neurological conditions.

Insightec and Florida Atlantic University have joined forces to further accelerate medical innovation, in order to improve the lives of patients and treat neurological diseases. Both organizations share the same mission and are determined to drive advances in preclinical and clinical investigations, to unlock the therapeutic potential of focused soundwaves.

Maurice R. Ferré, M.D., CEO and chair of the board of directors for Insightec, expresses the urgency to speed up this process, so that patients can benefit from the results.

FAU’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute, located on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, is a shining example of the university’s vibrant neuroscience ecosystem. Through its cutting-edge research and collaborative hub, FAU is dedicated to unlocking the complex mysteries of the brain and ultimately improving the quality of life for all.

Julie Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D., is a force to be reckoned with in the clinical research arena. As the dean and vice president for medical affairs in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, she is leading the charge in cutting-edge research initiatives.

With 10 years of National Institutes of Health funding in her back pocket and a board-certified practicing neurosurgeon status under her belt, she has become a renowned expert in movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain.

We are thrilled to join forces with Insightec to revolutionize the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease with their cutting-edge ultrasound technology. This partnership has the potential to transform the way we care for patients and provide them with the highest quality of care. Our mission is to ensure that every individual receives the best treatment possible.

Alzheimer’s disease is a heartbreaking reality for 6.5 million senior citizens in the United States, claiming the lives of the 65 and older population as the sixth leading cause of death. Florida has the second highest number of cases, with approximately 580,000 individuals afflicted.

Parkinson’s is another devastating neurological disorder, with nearly one million Americans suffering from its effects. Florida is one of the four states with the highest rate of this heartbreaking disease, with four percent of those diagnosed before age 50.

The possibilities of focused ultrasound to treat brain diseases are truly remarkable. At Florida Atlantic University, we are excited to collaborate with Insightec on our latest initiative to further explore the potential of this technology to treat neurological disorders.

Through our “Research University Alzheimer’s Research Using Exablate Neuro-focused Ultrasound” clinical trial with Delray Medical Center, we are working to make a real difference in people’s lives. Gregg Fields, Ph.D., interim vice president for research at FAU, executive director of the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-Health), and program director for the trial, is leading the charge to bring this innovative technology to those who need it most.

About Florida Atlantic University

FAU stands as a beacon of excellence in the Florida higher education landscape. Established in 1961 and opened in 1964, the University has grown exponentially in the past decades, now boasting over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students spread across six campuses. Not only has FAU seen tremendous growth in size, but also in academic excellence and research.

Recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University as one of the top public universities, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has designated it as a High Research Activity institution. FAU is a testament to the power of access and excellence, having achieved success in bridging traditional achievement gaps.

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