VisualSonics Expands Functionality and Introduces Molecular Imaging Capabilities

Company will in-license University of Virginia contrast agent for use in cardiovascular research

Toronto,Ontario. – January 26, 2006 – Paving the way for its entry into the molecular imaging market, VisualSonics, the world’s leading developer of high-resolution, ultrasound-based, in vivo micro-imaging systems, today announced that it is in-licensing a contrast agent for the quantification of myocardial perfusion in preclinical studies from the University of Virginia. The contrast agent will be sold under the trademark Depo™. The company is making the announcement in conjunction with the 11th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging, January 26-27, 2006, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

VisualSonics chose to expand its functionality by in-licensing a contrast agent and imaging strategy developed in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Lindner when he was at the University of Virginia. Dr. Lindner and his colleagues are considered pioneers in myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE), a screening test for heart disease. The development of this new contrast agent and strategy for high-frequency imaging is a continuation of this group’s expertise in preclinical cardiovascular applications.

According to Dr. Jonathan Lindner, now an Associate Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, “By adding contrast-enhanced and molecular imaging capabilities to its micro-ultrasound technology, VisualSonics is creating an even more powerful tool that responds to the current and future needs of preclinical researchers. The exquisite resolution of the Vevo™ combined with the multiple capabilities of ultrasound contrast agents will be an important asset to many research areas including myocardial and tumor perfusion as well as inflammation and angiogenesis research.”

In addition to in-licensing Depo, VisualSonics is establishing molecular protocols for contrast “kits” to be used for preclinical imaging across multiple application areas. Specifically, the company is developing a targeted contrast agent for quantification of angiogenesis using VEGFR2 as a marker and P-selectin as a marker for inflammation.

VisualSonics enhanced and molecular imaging capabilities. The market potential and demand for real-time, cost-effective molecular imaging data is enormous and we will continue to invest in product development to expand this compelling technology.”

About VisualSonics

VisualSonics is the world’s leading developer of high-resolution, ultrasound-based, in vivo micro-imaging systems designed specifically for non-invasive small animal research. The company’s enabling micro-ultrasound technology, the Vevo 770, allows researchers at many of the world’s most prestigious pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals and research centers to conduct genetic research, phenotypic study and drug development.

Micro-ultrasound is the fastest growing preclinical imaging modality. This enabling technology is facilitating research in cardiac and vascular disease, cancer, stem cell research and developmental biology. When compared to other imaging options, only micro-ultrasound has the combination of high-resolution, real-time imaging, in vivo detection and analysis, reasonable cost, ease of use, portability and no negative biological effects. More information on VisualSonics and micro-ultrasound can be found at


Jennifer Viera 
Schwartz Communications 
[email protected]