Weston Foundation Awards $12.5 Million for Ultrasound Technology

Weston Foundation Awards $12.5 Million for Ultrasound Technology

The Toronto-based W. Garfield Weston Foundation has announced a C$16.7 million ($12.5 million) grant to the Sunnybrook Research Institute in support of a focused ultrasound device with the potential to enable personalized treatment of brain disorders.

Awarded through the foundation's Weston Brain Institute, the grant will establish the Weston Family Focused Ultrasound Initiative and support the development of a device that enables the personalized treatment of brain disorder. The device will harness focused ultrasound technology to open the blood-brain barrier, a tightly packed network of vessels that protects the brain from toxins and prevents potentially helpful agents — chemotherapy drugs, antibodies, stem cells, or gene therapies — from acting on the brain. The device initially will be tested for use against glioblastoma, the deadliest and most common brain tumor, Alzheimer's disease, and breast cancer that has spread to the brain.

"We are delighted to make this contribution to improve the treatment of brain diseases," said Weston Foundation president Galen G. Weston. "This initiative is a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of this breakthrough technology while encouraging leadership and innovation in the Canadian medical technology sector. The prospect of readying this device to benefit so many people in Canada and around the world is very exciting."

(Photo credit: Sunnybrook Research Institute)