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Dutton Associates Featured Company: ImaRx Therapeutics, Inc. (IMRX)

ImaRx Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing therapies for vascular disorders in the United States. The company’s operations are focused in two main areas.

First, the company generates revenue from the sale of urokinase, a thrombolytic drug used for the treatment of acute massive pulmonary embolism, or blood clots in the lungs. The company sells urokinase to wholesale distributors under the Kinlytic brand name.

The company uses the revenue from urokinase to fund its SonoLysis clinical program. The company’s research and development efforts are focused on using its proprietary microbubble technology in conjunction with focused ultrasound (SonoLysis) to treat ischemic stroke, as well as other vascular disorders.

Microbubble Technology

Lipid coated microbubbles represent a new class of agents with both diagnostic and therapeutic applications, and ImaRx Therapeutics is on the technological forefront in this area. The company has learned that microbubbles can be used in several different ways.

First, microbubbles have low-density, and when stabilized with lipid coatings, impart unusual properties for diagnostic imaging and drug delivery. Certain gases trapped within lipid coatings make microbubbles sufficiently stable for circulation in the vasculature. Because of this, microbubbles can be activated with ultrasound energy to deliver site-specific bioactive materials when the microbubbles are associated with therapeutic agents. In addition, microbubbles can be used in the treatment of vascular thrombosis when they do not carry therapeutic agents.

Next, the company believes that the blood brain barrier can be reversibly opened without damaging the neurons using ultrasound applied across the intact skull to activate microbubbles within the cerebral micro-vasculature for delivery of therapeutic compounds to the brain. Finally, the company believes that microbubbles can be used in gene therapy.

Since ImaRx Therapeutics’ proprietary microbubbles are designed to be administered in conjunction with ultrasound, ImaRx has developed a collaboration agreement with Koninklijke Phillips Electronics N.V. (NYSE: PHG) to use the Phillips ultrasound technology.

ImaRX Pharmaceutical Corp. (IPC) was founded in 1991 to develop diagnostic contrast agents for radiology. ImaRx Therapeutics’ intellectual property portfolio includes more than 140 US patents plus foreign equivalents, and more than 30 US patents pending. These patents support the company’s microbubble technologies and will expire no earlier than 2012.

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