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VisualSonics Launches Molecular Imaging Capabilities for Cancer Research at the 2006 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

March 30, 2006

Numerous World Renowned Experts Presenting Novel Applications of In Vivo Imaging Using Micro-Ultrasound for Cancer Research

Toronto, Ontario. – March 30, 2006 – VisualSonics, the world’s leading developer of high-resolution, ultrasound-based, in vivo micro-imaging systems, announced today targeted molecular imaging capabilities for its Vevo 770™ system making the platform even more powerful and quantitative for cancer researchers. The company will debut this enhanced functionality at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference [Booth # 1533], at the Washington, DC Convention Center, April 1 - 5, 2006.

With this new functionality, which builds on the Company’s recent launch of molecular imaging capabilities for cardiovascular researchers, VisualSonics offers the only platform for in vivo imaging that provides anatomical, functional and molecular data in vivo and in real-time for cancer researchers. An initial molecular application involves the measurement of relative expression of angiogenesis using VEGFR-2 as a biomarker. In fact, Robert Kerbel, PhD, senior scientist and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, and Professor, Dept. of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, is currently studying the effect of different antiangiogenic and vascular disrupting therapies on tumor growth using the VisualSonics’ instrumentation and will be making several related presentations at the AACR. In addition, the April 1 issue of Cancer Research will publish research by Dr. Kerbel and colleagues examining targeted anti-VEGFR-2 therapy and resulting impairment of vascular function and increase in tumor hypoxia.

According to Dr. Kerbel, “Micro-ultrasound allows us to longitudinally study and quantify tumor growth and blood flow on the same subject over time. It also provides a better global visualization of the entire tumor’s vascular function – an advantage no other modality can provide so quickly and easily.” In terms of VisualSonics’ new molecular imaging capabilities for oncology research, he adds, “The ability to do anatomical, functional and now molecular imaging analysis – all in vivo and in real-time – is a significant step in terms of creating new tools for cancer researchers and for pharma companies studying therapeutic efficacy pre-clinically.”

Kerbel’s team is involved in four presentations at AACR highlighting research he has conducted using the VisualSonics’ micro-imaging technology for antiangiogenic therapies on tumor growth. In addition to Dr. Kerbel, other researchers including Dr. Kaoru Kiguchi of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Kenneth P. Olive of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Richard Nuccitelli of Old Dominion University will present preclinical findings based on micro-ultrasound imaging.

According to VisualSonics’ President and CEO Tom Little, “We are pleased that high-resolution, ultrasound-based, in vivo micro-imaging will be featured so prominently at this year’s American Association for Cancer Research Conference.” He continues, “It is rewarding to see so many world-renowned experts using micro-ultrasound technology to advance their research and therapeutic development. It demonstrates how powerful this technology is and why the medical research community is adopting micro-ultrasound more quickly than any other preclinical imaging modality.”

In addition to the numerous poster sessions and oral presentations about research using micro-ultrasound imaging, VisualSonics is holding a Symposium on Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW in Capitol Room A. Noted cancer metastasis expert Dr. Ann Chambers, London Regional Cancer Program, will discuss longitudinal quantification of liver metastases using micro-ultrasound. She will be joined by Dr. Kerbel, Dr. Kiguchi and Dr. Stuart Foster, VisualSonics’ Founder and Chief Scientific Officer.

About VisualSonics

VisualSonics is the world’s leading developer of high-resolution, ultrasound-based, in vivo micro-imaging systems designed specifically for non-invasive preclinical research. The company’s enabling micro-ultrasound technology, the Vevo 770, allows researchers at 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