USC Stem Cell scientists explore the latent regenerative potential of the inner ear
New online tool launched to accelerate discoveries for reversing progressive hearing loss
Researchers at University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) launch a new tool to advance medical discoveries to reverse progressive hearing loss.
A recently published special issue of International Journal of Molecular Science reviewed a variety of therapeutic interventions currently being studied as novel strategies to restore hearing.
One of these strategies involves the use of “KCNQ4 activators” as a way to keep the inner ear functioning properly. And according to the paper, existing drugs (or combinations thereof) that are already approved could potentially be repurposed as therapies for sensorineural hearing loss.
From the May 26, 2021 paper titled, “Molecular Mechanisms of Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Development of Inner Ear Therapeutics”:
The voltage-gated potassium channel KCNQ4 has an essential role in regulating auditory function in the inner ear, by contributing to potassium recycling and maintenance of cochlear homeostasis. Reduced activity of the KCNQ4 channel has been associated with a genetic form of hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, and age-related hearing loss. Rim and colleagues presented a comprehensive review of 90 publications looking at the KCNQ4 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of hearing loss. In this review, the authors updated the current concepts of the physiological and pathophysiological roles of KCNQ4 in the inner ear and focused on the role of KCNQ4 activators in therapeutic management of different forms of hearing loss. They propose that the simultaneous application of two activators with distinct modes of action may result in synergistic effects and reduced off-target effects. It was also suggested that drug repurposing may be an attractive option for clinical development of KCNQ4 activators as therapies for hearing loss.
Another recent paper, from three months ago (published March 2, 2021) titled, “Activation of KCNQ4 as a Therapeutic Strategy to Treat Hearing Loss”, stated:
Therefore, the discovery of small compounds activating or potentiating KCNQ4 is an important strategy for the curative treatment of hearing loss.
The authors concluded by recommending that “KCNQ4 activators should be validated in clinical trials, as there is no ongoing clinical trial targeting hearing loss by KCNQ4 activators currently.”
But do not let the fact that KCNQ4 activators have not yet entered human clinical trials mislead you. Despite the current lack of trials, that does not automatically mean these drugs are far, far away.
Because, as the authors also pointed out earlier in the same paper: “Drug repurposing and optimization for applicable specific KCNQ4 mutation might also be an option for clinical application of KCNQ4 activators […] with advantages of reducing the cost and shortening the time when compared to de novo drug discovery.”
As far as what to keep an eye out for next, on the topic of KCNQ4, the researchers also tip us off as to which company is working on this mechanism most closely:
Acousia Therapeutics, which is a biotech company aiming for the development of small-molecule drugs for sensory neuronal hearing loss, has eight compounds targeting KCNQ4 in its pipeline.
Company website here (comment: Acousia seems to keep a low profile, so for now don’t expect to find any additional details about these eight compounds): http://www.acousia.com/
Last but not least, a fun fact.
Aside from the repurposed drugs that might hold hearing restoration potential, there is another compound related to KCNQ4 mentioned in the paper. An exotic one, as described in one of the cited papers: Subtype-Selective Activation of Kv7 Channels by AaTXKβ(2–64), a Novel Toxin Variant from the Androctonus australis Scorpion Venom.
Scorpion venom. Hmmm…
AUTHOR’S NOTE: There is something oddly reassuring about the thought of researchers from around the world leaving no stone unturned (and no tiny venomous creature unexamined) in search of a potential hearing loss cure.
A good reminder that we never know where (or from what) the next big discovery will arise. Nature is full of secrets and science is constantly uncovering these surprises…
More updates to follow…
How to get KCNQ4 activator updates
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A noteworthy abstract from The Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) 44th Annual MWM held a few months ago:
Attenuation of Age-Related Hearing Loss in Senescence-Accelerated Mouse Prone 8 (SAMP8) Mice Treated With Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibitor CMS121
The senescence-accelerated prone strain 8 (SAMP8) mouse model provides opportunities to investigate potential therapies for age-related hearing loss (ARHL), the most common sensory disorder in older humans. In SAMP8 mice, oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, apoptosis, and premature senescence. CMS121 is a fatty acid synthase inhibitor previously shown to improve cognitive function in SAMP8 mice through anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects in the hippocampus. Given the common cellular pathways leading to age-related dysfunction inthe hippocampus and cochlea, the aim of our study is to determine whether CMS121 is protective against ARHL in SAMP8 mice.
Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) across six frequencies (4, 8, 12, 16, 24, and 32 kHz) were used to assess baseline hearing in sixteen 4-week-old SAMP8 mice, which were then split into age-matched groups with similar average hearing thresholds. The control group was then fed a vehicle diet, while the experimental group was fed a diet with CMS121. ABR measurements were repeated at seven, ten, and thirteen weeks of age. Cochlear immunohistochemistry was then performed using Ctbp2, GluR2, and Myo7a to analyze the number of paired ribbon-receptor synapses per inner hair cell (IHC). Descriptive statistics are provided with mean ±SEM (Standard Error of the Mean). Two-sample t-tests were performed to compare hearing thresholds and paired synapse count across the two groups, with alpha = 0.05.
Baseline hearing thresholds across the six frequencies in the control group (77.5± 5.9, 59.0 ± 9.5, 44.2 ± 6.1, 47.5 ± 7.8, 36.8 ± 6.0, and 35.0 ± 7.2) were statistically similar to those of the CMS121 group (74.9 ± 2.3, 51.4 ± 3.7, 42.3 ± 3.3, 45.8 ± 5.0, 37.8 ± 4.6, and 33.3 ± 4.7.) While the control group showed progressive ARHL (hearing thresholds at 13 weeks were 84.0 ± 6.4, 63.8 ± 10.0, 56.5 ± 6.1, 64.8 ± 7.4, 37.0 ± 6.4, and 38.3 ± 6.1), the CMS121 group maintained stable hearing thresholds at 13 weeks (73.1 ± 4.0, 50.0 ± 4.5, 39.8 ± 3.8, 43.8 ± 4.4, 31.6 ± 4.3, and 35.8 ± 7.1). At that time, the control group had significantly worse hearing thresholds at 12 kHz (56.5 vs. 39.8, p = 0.044) and 16 kHz (64.8 vs. 43.8, p = 0.040) compared to the CMS121 group. Immunohistochemistry showed a significantly lower synapse count per IHC in the control group (15.7) compared to the CMS121 group (18.4), p = 0.014.
Our study shows a significant reduction in hearing loss and increased preservation of ribbon synapses in the mid-range frequencies among mice treated with CMS121 compared to untreated mice. These findings support expanding the scope of current research on CMS121 to further investigate the promising role of this compound as a protective agent against ARHL.
Further study will be needed to explore whether CMS121 can reverse any pre-existing hearing loss. But considering how nearly all forms of hearing loss are progressive (albeit some are slower than others), a decibel saved is a decibel
As far as mechanism is concerned, it seems to show potential in combating the damaging effects of noise-induced lipid peroxidation. But there’s likely a few things going on.
“But human trials must be years away.”
Fortunately this drug candidate has a bit of a head start, as it is being studied in Alzheimer’s disease:
That’s all for now. More information to follow.
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New findings published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences outline the effectiveness of vinpocetine, a sodium channel blocker, as a treatment for sensorineural hearing loss.
“…with the use of vinpocetine, the hearing capacity improved. It is concluded that vinpocetine helps to stop hearing impairment and even improve hearing.”
Source: J Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Apr;145(4):313-318. doi: 10.1016/j.jphs.2021.01.010. PMID: 33712282.
Researchers conducted a phase 2 trial to determine if treatment with 30mg/day of vinpocetine could stop or reverse hearing deterioration in patients with sensorineural hearing loss.
Quick background from Wikipedia:
“Vinpocetine (ethyl apovincaminate) is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid vincamine. Vincamine is extracted from either the seeds of Voacanga africana or the leaves of Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle).”
Obligatory photo of the flowering plant:
The results, which were recently printed in the April issue of JPS, in a paper titled, “Evaluation of vinpocetine as a therapy in patients with sensorineural hearing loss: A phase II, open-label, single-center study”, appear promising.
Here is the abstract (emphasis ours):
The progressive degeneration of the excitable cells of the ear depends on the sustained excitation of the voltage-sensitive sodium channels, so the negative pharmacological modulation could be a rational therapeutic strategy against the damage of these cells. The objective was to demonstrate the effectiveness of Vinpocetine (VPC), a potent sodium channel blocker, as a treatment for acquired sensorineural hearing loss. A phase II, longitudinal and prospective open clinical study, was conducted over a period of 12 months with patients older than 18 years, to demonstrate the effectiveness of Vinpocetine (VPC) as a treatment for acquired sensorineural hearing loss, using evoked potentials, otoacoustic emissions, audiometry and logoaudiometry, analyzing the results at 6 and 12 months of treatment with Vinpocetine (30 mg/day in 3 doses). It was observed that from 0 to 6 months there was hearing impairment (which was already expected due to the age of the patients). From 6 to 12 months and from 0 to 12 months there were significant differences with a tendency towards improvement, indicating that the aforementioned deterioration not only stopped, but that with the use of vinpocetine, the hearing capacity improved. It is concluded that Vinpocetine helps to stop hearing impairment and even improve hearing.
Link to the full-text version of the paper plus a backup link to the entry on PubMed:
More information on vinpocetine will follow.
For now, here are some quick notes followed by links to further reading:
- semisynthetic natural product
- derived from the periwinkle plant
- has anti-inflammatory properties
- has the ability to modulate sodium and channel channels
- is used as a vasodilator for cerebrovascular and age-related memory disorders
- regulates levels of toll-like receptors
- subject of debate, controversy, and FDA activity/memos [comment: to anyone reading this, be very careful of vinpocetine for sale on the internet. This article is not meant to suggest any treatment and especially not a do-it-yourself vinpocetine regimen. Furthermore, one of the studies I read tested supplement products that listed vinpocetine as an ingredient… and found that many of these products actually contained no vinpocetine (and/or worse, “replacement” ingredients that were not listed on the bottle).]
- a search for vinpocetine on PubMed shows a lot of results, quite recent too… hmmm…
Some interesting articles on vinpocetine [author’s note: this “drug” keeps getting more interesting the more I read about it…]:
- Vinpocetine: drug or dietary supplement?
FDA signals intent to regulate semisynthetic dietary ingredient as a drug
- Vinpocetine: An Unapproved Drug Sold as a Dietary Supplement
- Vinpocetine – Wikipedia
Two more scientific papers, related to vinpocetine and the auditory system:
That’s all for now.
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Frequency Therapeutics Plans to Initiate New FX-322 Phase 2 Study in Second Half of 2021
Start of ACOU085 (Acousia Therapeutics) phase 1 study in patients with hearing loss is planned for the second half of 2021
Discovery of new hearing loss gene in humans – the first one known to affect the mechanical properties of inner ear support cells
Researchers at the University of Utah’s Mansour Lab are studying the Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling pathway with the long-term goal of harnessing developmental signals to drive hearing restoration.
“Our results will contribute new knowledge to the long-term goal of harnessing developmental signals to drive hearing restoration.”
The project has received funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and will continue through January 2022.
According to investigators, the results “will facilitate future efforts to manipulate the FGF signaling system for hearing restoration.”
First, they will use mouse models to investigate the role of the Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling pathway and its critical role in the inner ear.
But the findings could uncover key development signals that could potentially be commandeered to restore hearing function.
The team is being led by Dr. Suzanne L. Mansour (Molecular Biology Program – FGFs and Inner Ear Development, Mouse models of hearing loss and restoration), who has been studying these FGF signals since the early 2000s.
Here is the full abstract and public health relevance statement:
Regulation of inner ear development by FGF signals and effectors
Mansour, Suzanne L.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Morphogenesis of the inner ear epithelium requires coordinated deployment of several signaling pathways and disruptions cause abnormalities of hearing and/or balance. With the advent of cochlear implantation to treat hearing loss even in cases of inner ear malformation, it is critical to understand exactly how such malformations affect the auditory ganglia and innervation. Also, in light of the intense focus on in vitro generation of inner ear cell types for transplantation and in vivo manipulation of developmental signaling molecules to promote differentiation of various inner ear cells for hearing restoration, elucidating the roles and regulation of such signals and their effectors governing otic differentiation and morphogenesis are necessary to advance treatment. The genes encoding FGF3 and FGF10, ligands that signal through FGFR2b and FGFR1b, are expressed dynamically throughout otic development in both epithelial and ganglion domains. Studies conducted by the Mansour Lab of both conventional Fgf3 and Fgf10 conditional knockout mice and those expressing a doxycycline-inducible ligand trap (dnFGFR2b) that rapidly inhibits signaling through both FGFR1b and FGFR2b, showed that Fgf3 and Fgf10 are not required in the placode lineage for otocyst formation, but are required subsequently for otocyst patterning, neuroblast maintenance, epithelial proliferation and both vestibular and cochlear morphogenesis. Furthermore, the first genome wide analyses of otocyst mRNA revealed FGFR2b/1b signaling targets that define novel candidates for genes involved in otic morphogenesis and function. This proposal has two Aims addressing the hypotheses that 1) FGFR2b/1b signaling is required continuously for both otic neuroblast specification and maintenance, and that at later stages, mesenchymal signaling, as well as that in the epithelial and ganglion domains, is required for cochlear epithelial differentiation and ganglion maintenance and 2) FGFR2b/1b downstream target genes mediate some or all of the effects of FGFR2b/1b signaling on otic morphogenesis and gangliogenesis. To determine the early role of FGFR2b/1b signaling in otic ganglion formation and its later role in epithelial differentiation and ganglion maintenance, DOX-induced ubiquitous and CRE-limited expression of dnFGFR2b will be employed and morphology and molecular markers of otic patterning, proliferation and survival in both tissues will be assessed. To determine the roles of downstream targets of FGFR2b/1b signaling, two genes encoding transcription factors that are activated by FGFR2b/1b signaling and one gene encoding a BMP signaling regulator that is repressed by FGFR2b/1b signaling will be studied. Otic conditional mutants will be generated for each gene, and their morphologic and functional development will be assessed. In addition, the extent to which the BMP regulator contributes to the dnFGFR2b phenotypes and the effects of overexpressing the BMP regulator will be assessed. The results will contribute new knowledge that will facilitate future efforts to manipulate the FGF signaling system for hearing restoration.
Public Health Relevance
Permanent hearing loss caused by malformation of the inner ear or congenital or progressive loss of its sensory or neural cells affects up to one third of individuals by the age of 80 and generates significant social and healthcare costs. In this proposal, we use mouse models to investigate the role of the Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling pathway in forming the inner ear epithelium and neurons. Our results will contribute new knowledge to the long-term goal of harnessing developmental signals to drive hearing restoration.
For updates on Mansour’s FGF signaling system (and other hearing restoration research/treatments) sign up for free email updates (our newsletter) here.
Project #: 1R01DC019127-01
Researchers at University of California-Irvine are testing the effects of nicotine to see if it will reduce or reverse auditory decline.
The research is part of a new project funded by the NIA division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The project was recently awarded $640,473 in grant money for 2021 to determine, in humans and mice, whether nicotine’s effects can restore auditory function.
It began a few months ago and will continue until at least the end of 2021. (If successful, it could continue to receive more funding every year, until the end of 2025.)
Worth pointing out: nicotine, in this context, is NOT related to tobacco, smoking, or vaping. This is some sort of pharmaceutical nicotine, apparently:
“Because nicotine enhances cortical and cognitive function, pharmaceutical companies are developing nicotine-like drugs … These drugs are non-addictive (unlike nicotine in tobacco), yet nicotine also is non-addictive when given topically or orally.”
And, according to the project description, a positive outcome “will facilitate the translation of nicotine-based therapeutic treatments for hearing loss to clinical populations.”
Here is a shortened version of the project Abstract and Public Health Relevance Statement (formatting and emphasis ours):
Ideally, a combination of drug treatment with hearing aids and behavioral training could restore auditory function, but the development of pharmacological treatments requires a better understanding of the mechanisms by which candidate drugs improve hearing.
The goals of this proposal are to develop biomarkers of altered auditory processing in aging mice and humans, and using these biomarkers, to test the hypothesis that nicotine can normalize these age-related central auditory deficits.
Because nicotine enhances cortical and cognitive function, pharmaceutical companies are developing nicotine-like drugs to target cognitive deficits in aging. These drugs are non-addictive (unlike nicotine in tobacco), yet nicotine also is non-addictive when given topically or orally. However, its clinical benefits have not been exploited except as an aid to stop smoking.
We hypothesize that: 1) acute nicotine compensates for the age-related decline in inhibition by exciting the remaining inhibitory neurons; 2) chronic nicotine exposure (CNE) upregulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs); and, as a result, 3) acute nicotine and/or CNE will reduce or reverse the age-related auditory decline.
We will test these hypotheses in both mouse and human at the level of cells (mouse in vitro brain slice), neural systems (mouse in vivo physiology; human brain imaging and EEG) and behavior (human psychoacoustics).
- Aim 1 will determine in mouse whether age-related decline in auditory spectrotemporal processing is reversed by acute nicotine or CNE, and characterize the associated cellular mechanisms.
- Aim 2 will identify, in humans, age-related changes in receptive field properties in auditory cortex using novel fMRI techniques and determine if nicotine reverses these changes using psychoacoustics, fMRI and EEG.
This project features a multifaceted, parallel approach in mouse and human. Each Aim will:
- examine auditory processing at multiple adult ages;
- use similar acoustic stimuli in both species, accounting for species differences in hearing, to target common mechanisms;
- test the effects of nicotine.
A successful outcome will promote an integrated understanding across levels, from cellular mechanisms to perception, and facilitate translation of nicotine-based therapeutic treatments to clinical populations.
Public Health Relevance Statement
Nicotine enhances auditory and cognitive functions because it mimics the brain’s system for “paying attention” to important sounds amid distractions (for example, understanding speech in a noisy environment). In part, nicotine does this by activating inhibitory neurons in the auditory cortex. Since age-related hearing deficits result in part from the loss of inhibitory neurons, this project will determine, in humans and mice, whether nicotine’s effects can compensate for reduced inhibition in aging and thereby restore auditory function.
For some more background on the science and theory behind nicotine and hearing, here is a good paper from last year:
Nicotine Enhances Auditory Processing in Healthy and Normal-Hearing Young Adult Nonsmokers March 2020
Nicotine improves auditory performance in difficult listening situations. The present results support future investigation of nicotine effects in clinical populations with auditory processing deficits or reduced cholinergic activation.
The UC Irvine project described in this post is part of the story. There is also a separate project, also at UC Irvine, titled, “Nicotinic enhancement of auditory-cognitive processing.” (Also awarded a grant worth over $600,000.)
From the project narrative section of the description:
The drug nicotine enhances auditory-cognitive function because it “hijacks” the brain’s endogenous system for directing attention to important sounds (for example, understanding speech in a noisy environment). This project seeks to determine if one kind of nicotine receptor (a2 subtype) and one kind of neuron (VIP) in two key regions of the cerebral cortex (auditory cortex and prefrontal cortex) play essential roles in nicotine’s effects. The long-term goal is to understand brain mechanisms of auditory processing and guide development of novel drug treatments for auditory-cognitive disorders.
We will be following this research and these nicotine/hearing improvement projects and posting updates as important milestones are met.
This article is an unfinished draft and a work in progress. You are accessing it early because this not-yet-public link is sent to email subscribers.
Exported on 05/01/2021 from the HHS Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS), http://taggs.hhs.gov, Project Number 1R01AG067073-01A1
An unofficial update on Decibel Therapeutics’ secretive gene therapy program to treat sensorineural hearing loss by regenerating cochlear outer hair cells…
First, the official story, followed by a big “unofficial” update on “DB-301″…
Laurence Reid, CEO of Decibel Therapeutics, had this to say during a recent presentation at the 20th Annual Needham Virtual Healthcare Conference – from April 15, 2021:
Laurence Reid: We have an earlier stage program with respect to the cochlea. The goal is to drive differentiation of the supporting cell, through an immature hair cell, and then on particularly to either generate the outer hair cell or potentially the inner hair cell – for treating different types of patient populations with different cellular bases for their hearing loss.
Here is a slide from the presentation:
Officially, we also have some background information thanks to a recent Decibel Therapeutics, Inc SEC filing (emphasis ours):
Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration
Age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss affect millions of people in the United States and Europe. Research has shown that the degree of hearing loss in these populations is best predicted by the amount of outer hair cell loss. We believe that restoring outer hair cells could restore hearing in these individuals. In our cochlear hair cell regeneration program, we are designing an AAV-based gene therapy that utilizes cell-selective expression of reprogramming factors to convert supporting cells into outer hair cells. We are currently conducting preclinical in vitro and in vivo rodent studies to evaluate the cell-selectivity of certain proprietary promoters and the ability of certain reprogramming factors that may drive an outer hair cell fate.
In that same filing, we learn that Decibel Therapeutics plans to announce the targets for this cochlear hair cell regeneration program in 2022. Excerpt and pipeline snapshot:
In addition, we are advancing our cochlear hair cell regeneration program to treat acquired hearing loss by regenerating cochlear outer hair cells. We plan to announce the targets for our cochlear hair cell regeneration program in 2022.
However, we might not need to wait until 2022 for that update, because…
Our independent research has uncovered what appear to be details related to Decibel’s “Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration Program” (a.k.a. the gene therapy program which could potentially be given the name “DB-301”)…
That’s our unofficial code name, inferred from Decibel’s naming scheme (“AAV.RF301” or “AAV.301” + “DB” = DB-301).
From a Decibel Therapeutics corporate overview presented during Citi’s 15th Annual BioPharma Virtual Conference:
As you can see, this slide looks like a perfect match for the cochlear hair cell regeneration program. (Which is why we’re calling this an “early update” on the program.)
The presentation has the word “confidential” written on page 19.
However, the source of this information – a PDF document – is currently available on Decibel’s website. (It is indexed by search engines and accessible to the public. We have archived it digitally as well, for record-keeping purposes.)
Furthermore, within this PDF – on page 19, in very, very, very tiny text – is a list of what appear to be outer hair cell candidate targets (copy+pasted):
Hdac3 Kdm4a Mtpn Htatip2 Dnmt3a Mlxip Foxo3
oxn3 Prnp Sall1 Pknox2 Klf9 Rora Six2 Trps1 Actn4 Mef2a Pdcd11 Nfkb1 Hlcs Zfp410 Banp Zbtb7b Esrra E2f3 Zfp740 Zkscan3 Creb3l1 Ighm Zfp324 Arnt Lig1 Elk3 Zbtb40 Crem Smarca2 Nfatc2 Rest Nfib Zfp608 Nfix Smad7 Mafk Adarb1 Irf6 Nacc2 Rorb Bhlhe40 Ikzf2 Jun Zfp423 Nr3c1 Tppp Cat Zfp637 Zfp777 Kmt2a Nr2f2 Zfp592 Pura Zfp365 Zbtb46 Zfp654 BC005561 Zfp516 Cic Zhx3 Rxra Zfp106 Zfp277 Thra Tmem33 Zc3h7a Srrm3 Pds5a Zbtb4 Ube2k Ctbp2 Id4 Srebf1 Nfat5 Ddit3 Sall3 Mdm2 Srebf2 Gtf2i Prdx5 Smap2 Zbtb7a Zfp618 Gata3 Irf9 Mef2d Taf1 Zfp523 Kdm2a Abcf2 Zfp398 Zfp638 Hmg20a Msi2 Nmral1 Tead1 ead2 H2afy Irx3 Ezh2 Rfxap Sox9 Tgif2 Egr4 Egr3 Npas4 Sox11 Fhl2 Prox1 Sox2 Cers2 Gm10093 Dazap1 Dnajc21 Isl1 Ran Ebf1 Atoh1 Hes6 Rpl35 Rps10 Psma6 Akr1a1 Barhl1 Smarca5 Ruvbl1 U2af1 Gtf2a2 Zfp428 Ssbp3 Zfp326 Nuak1 Pknox1 Cyb5r1 Tceal5 Msra Cers6 Zmat4 Bcl11b Npdc1 Bcl2 Ybx1 Stub1 Zmat2 Zfp667 Yeats4 Tfdp2 Hnrnpa1 Tfdp1 Rbm17 Hmgn3 Lhx3 Cers4 Ugp2 Bax Mrps25 H1fx Nap1l1 Pax2 Traf4 Mcm6 Neurod6 Rab2a Cd59a Ptcd1 Klf7 Las1l Cdk2ap1 Mycl Nono Zfp330 Insm1 Irx2 Id1 Id2 Magoh Nr2f6 Zbtb20 Diablo Gar1 Snrpb2 Rps4x Zmiz1 Hnrnpc Nr2f1 Rbpj Lsm6 Hmgb2 Tbpl1
Is this a short list of targets that Decibel is planning to choose from and announce in 2022?
Time will tell.
But, taken together, all this information leads us to believe that Decibel Therapeutics could have an earlier update for us about all these “unofficial” details (including the name “DB-301”, which is just one possibility).
COMMENT: This article was made available to email subscribers several days early. If you want early access to updates like this one, join the email updates list. It’s free, no spam, and your information is kept private.
Hough Ear Institute is developing a new drug that uses RNA technology to regenerate inner ear hair cells and restore lost hearing.
The name of the drug is AOK-1.
Unlike Hough’s first drug, NHPN-1010, AOK-1 is not a pill.
Instead, it is an injection.
And the way it works is equally different.
New: Breakthrough Number Two from Hough Crew
The Hough pill aims to restore hearing by repairing and reestablishing the connections to hair cells. It is designed to rescue or salvage “stranded” sensory cells.
This AOK-1 injection, on the other hand, aims to restore hearing by regenerating, repairing and regrowing the sensory cells themselves. Perhaps even from virtually scratch.
The dream? That AOK-1 could someday give hearing to people affected by even the most severe forms of noise-induced hearing loss.
“…like releasing a ‘parking brake’ on the regenerative process”
Hough Ear Institute CEO Dr. Richard Kopke recently shared the first details on AOK-1, including the big idea behind its mechanism.
From the video (transcribed and lightly edited for clarity and brevity):
The next technology is the one that is injected into the ear and we call it AOK-1. And it’s a regenerative therapeutic. It’s a regenerative drug and it’s an RNA technology. It’s an RNA molecule that eliminates a protein that keeps the hair cells from regenerating in the cochlea. So it’s like a parking brake on the whole regenerative process in the cochlea. When we get rid of that protein, then the hair cells can generate.
In short, AOK-1 is being developed to awaken the human body’s innate ability to repair and regrow its lost or damaged inner ear hair cells. The same way many animals, including birds, frogs, and fish, can naturally regenerate lost sensory cells and hearing. AOK-1, a small interfering RNA achives this by interfering with the protein that is responsible for keeping this regenerative power “asleep” in humans.
A “same-day” hearing restoration procedure?
Dr. Richard Kopke also explained how the drug is being designed as an outpatient “same-day” procedure. It does not require an overnight stay at the hospital. Rather, you get it and go home shortly after. The procedure involves some numbing drops for the ear drum, followed by a minimally invasive injection of thermosensitive hydrogel that contains the active drug.
This delivery method is discussed during the presentation:
Importantly, the science appears to be getting there. In vivo animal model experiments are showing lots of promise. (The research behind AOK-1, by the way, is supported by a $1.9 million Department of Defense CDMRP grant.)
And although AOK-1 is still in preclinical development, Dr. Richard Kopke concluded his presentation with a “hint” at the possibility of upcoming human clinical trials…
His exact words:
Currently we’re under talks and negotiations with another pharmaceutical company that would like to take this technology, license it, and bring it to the clinic. It seems to be a robust, reproducible technology that restores hearing.
The full presentation from Dr. Richard Kopke is available on YouTube: March 2021 – Hough Institute Breakthrough – Member Meeting (uploaded on April 15, 2021). The AOK-1 part of the presentation starts at the 33 minutes, 56 seconds (33:56) timestamp.
For updates on the progress of AOK-1 and its progress toward human studies, subscribe to our free email newsletter (updates).
For those of you who are eager to dive deeper into the science behind AOK-1, here are links to the original research papers:
- https://houghear.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Shibata-Gene-therapy-for-hair-cell-regeneration-Review-and-new-data.pdf [PDF]
Source: Hearing Loss Association of America – Oklahoma Central Chapter. (2021, April 15). March 2021 – Hough Institute Breakthrough – Member Meeting [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCed87H92S4
Acknowledgements: Credit belongs to reddit user u/filleorange for finding and sharing the link to this informative video. (When it was first posted to reddit, the video only had a measly 4 views!)
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Rinri Therapeutics Raises £10 million from Existing Investors and UK Future Fund to Advance its Novel Stem Cell Therapy to Restore Hearing Loss
Rinri Therapeutics Raises £10 million to Advance its Novel Stem Cell Therapy to Reverse Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The proceeds will support the development of the Company’s novel stem cell therapy to reverse sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
2021 Hearing Restoration Research Program
Released: April 19, 2021
Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Hearing Restoration Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21)
Some research that appeared on our radar recently: “Oridonin ameliorates noise-induced hearing loss by blocking NLRP3 – NEK7 mediated inflammasome activation” (March 23, 2021).
Link to the paper:
Here, we further determined that treatment with oridonin could indeed interrupt the interaction between NLRP3 and NEK7 as well as inhibit the downstream inflammasome activation in mouse cochleae after noise exposure. Furthermore, we tested anakinra, another inflammatory inhibitor, and it was shown to partially alleviate the degree of hearing impairment in some frequencies in an NIHL mouse model. These discoveries suggest that inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasomes and the downstream signaling pathway may provide a new strategy for the clinical treatment of NIHL.
What does that mean?
Here is an extremely loose – but simple – explanation of what this means:
- inflammation is involved in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
- we aren’t sure how, exactly
- but it seems that… sometimes… inflammation can go way too far
- which might actually make things worse, or interfere with healing
- this could be what happens in the ear after acoustic trauma
- we aren’t sure about that either
- but according to this theory…
- maybe a drug that keeps the inflammation process from going way too far…
- … might also help with the healing process and prevent further damage
- (by making sure inflammation does not get carried away)
- this might apply in the context of noise-induced hearing loss
- Oridonin, anakinra are two drugs worth studying for this
- but we aren’t sure… yet
Now, for those of you who prefer the nitty gritty details… diving deep into the science… and the technical side of things…
Here is some further reading about Oridonin – “a covalent NLRP3 inhibitor with strong anti-inflammasome activity” – from Nature:
From that paper:
Oridonin (Ori) is the major active ingredient of the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Rabdosia rubescens and has anti-inflammatory activity, but the target of Ori remains unknown. NLRP3 is a central component of NLRP3 inflammasome and has been involved in a wide variety of chronic inflammation-driven human diseases.
(I wonder if it has anything to do with osteoclasts…)
That’s all for now.
Short but sweet update:
We now have an estimated completion date for the PIPE-505 phase 2a clinical trial: June 12, 2021.
- The PIPE-505 study record was updated on March 29, 2021.
- The study completion date was changed from March 2021 [Anticipated] to June 2021 [Anticipated].
- The June 12, 2021 date [Estimated] was calculated using information found within the study record and its history of changes, including: a) the submission date on which the Study Status was changed from “Recruiting” to “Active, not recruiting” and, b) the maximum follow-up Time Frame (“3 months after drug administration”) as detailed in the Outcome Measures section.
- For a more conservative completion date, replace the last submitted update to Study Status date with the more recent last submitted update date of March 26, 2021. This gives us June 24, 2021.
- Taken together, we are looking at a range of June 12 – June 24, with June 12th as the one to mark on your calendar.
Source: History of Changes for Study: NCT04462198 (Phase I/IIa Study Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of an Intratympanic Dose of PIPE-505 in Subjects With Hearing Loss)
That’s all for now.
We will probably have the next PIPE-505 update for you before June 15th (and/or whenever Pipeline Therapeutics makes an announcement).
For ongoing PIPE-505 updates and news of other upcoming hearing loss treatments, sign up for the free email newsletter. No spam, no promotional emails, privacy respected. Between 1-3 emails per week (but only when something interesting is happening).
CGF166 update: Results from the phase 1/2 study of the hearing loss drug are now available.
Two days ago, on March 30, 2021, the official study record of CGF166 was updated on ClinicalTrials.gov.
This update was not accompanied by a press release from Novartis nor any media coverage.
However, this “surprise” update had two important words: has results.
An unexpected update
These results came out of nowhere…
For anyone learning about CGF166 for the first time, here is some quick background info on the “mysterious” Novartis gene therapy drug candidate for hearing loss:
A Case Study: Using Regenerative Medicine to Treat Hearing Loss
In 1999, scientists singled out a gene called atonal as a “master switch” for turning on the growth of inner ear hair cells, which pick up sound waves and translate them into electrical signals in the brain. Humans are born with hair cells, but the atonal switch flips off at birth. Any subsequent damage to hair cells is permanent.
In collaboration with a biotech company, GenVec Inc, NIBR researchers have developed an experimental gene therapy called CGF166 to restore hearing function by regenerating hair cells. It consists of a viral vector carrying the atonal gene. The vector has been altered with the aim of making it harmless and is injected directly into the inner ear. CGF166 is now being tested in a limited number of patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss.
SOURCE: an old brochure from the Novartis Institute for Biological Research (NIBR), circa 2016.
Sounds promising, right?
But that material was written 5 years ago and… since then – aside from the early buzz and media coverage on this holy grail treatment – CGF166 updates have been incredibly rare.
In fact, before today… the last credible update we got on CGF166 was from over a year ago when, on February 21, 2020, BioCentury pointed out that Novartis had “yet to publicly report data from its Phase I/II trial of gene therapy CGF166.”
SOURCE: Regenerative medicine for hearing loss makes quiet progress, BioCentury, https://www.biocentury.com/article/304491, dated February 21, 2020.
Well, now it looks like they (quietly) have.
The results were uploaded to the study record of the phase I/II clinical trial. Here is the official description:
The goal of the study was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and the potential ability of CGF166 delivered through IL-infusion to improve hearing. CGF166 is a recombinant adenovirus 5 (Ad5) vector containing a cDNA encoding the human Atonal transcription factor (Hath1).
This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and potential efficacy of CGF166 and the associated delivery procedures in patients with severe-to-profound unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. Eligible patients were required to have documented, non-fluctuating hearing loss.
SOURCE: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02132130, last updated March 30, 2021.
CGF166 study results: Part 1
These results do not show all the data and numbers, but we expect to post a follow-up once we have some experts review them.
Here is the direct link to the study results that were uploaded on March 30, 2021: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02132130 – Study Results
It’s important to keep in mind that these results are NOT the same thing as an announcement or press release from the company. For that reason, there is no accompanying commentary or explanation of what these results mean.
This can be frustrating, but here at Hearing Loss Treatment Report we are currently working on a follow-up post that will provide a clear idea of what these numbers mean for people with hearing loss.
This is a developing story…
I wish we had more for you.
This is all we have, for now.
We will continue to monitor what is happening with CGF166 and post an update as soon as we know more. (The best way to get updates is by subscribing to our email newsletter – which we’ll be sending out very soon!)
For now, we decided to share the link to these “raw” results because we believe in sharing early and sharing often. Information ASAP. Before the official press releases, before company Twitter announcements, before the media outlets, before before before.
And so, for that reason, we didn’t want to sit and wait on this long-awaited study result update just so we could organize it into a neatly-wrapped package with in-depth commentary.
That’s not our style.
The reason we believe in this post-first-question-later approach is because an increasingly large number of patients, organizations, and industry professionals use this site as a shortcut to the very latest hearing loss treatment updates.
Think of this site like a secret source of some of the fastest, earliest updates in the world of hearing loss drug development. And it’s meant to help inform people in situations like this: where this CGF166 phase I/II results story was missed, ignored, or simply too early (and thus unknown) to the mainstream media.
Which is also why you might want to subscribe to our email updates list… so you can get as-fast-as-we-can-find-them updates on experimental hearing restoration drugs and milestones… plus, sneak previews of what potential “cures” are really around the corner in 2021, 2022, and beyond…
But it’s not for everyone.
Questions? Comments? Corrections? Feedback:
Send an email to email@example.com and say hello.
This one-hour webinar will provide an overview of the FDA drug development process as well as the value of Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meetings. We hope this webinar will spike your interest in being part of this important virtual meeting for the hearing loss community taking place on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
HLAA to Hold Patient-Focused Drug Development Webinar and Meeting
Externally-Led Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting for People and Families Living with Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Frequency Therapeutics Releases New Data from Two FX-322 Clinical Studies; Plans to Advance Single-Dose Regimen
Interim FX-322 Phase 2a Results Show Four Injection Schedule Had No Discernible Hearing Benefit
Separate FX-322 Phase 1b Study Confirms Hearing Improvement from Single Injection
Conference call at 8:30am ET today
Could improving poor blood supply to the damaged inner ear reverse noise-induced and/or age-related hearing loss?
Yes, according to some fascinating new research from Zhang et al, published
yesterday on March 9, 2021, that describes a unique approach to hearing restoration that is backed by “clear-cut evidence”…
Here is a link to a full-text PDF copy of the paper (and all the science-y details):
Sneak preview of the abstract:
When hearing loss is caused by noise or aging, it is often associated with breakdown of the barrier between the cochlea and its blood vessels. Pericytes populate many small vessels in the adult inner ear, however, their role in different forms of hearing loss is largely unknown. Using an inducible and conditional pericyte depletion mouse model, we show that loss of pericytes leads to marked changes in vascular structure, resulting in poor blood circulation and hearing loss. In vitro, using advanced tissue explants from pericyte fluorescence reporter models in combination with exogenous donor pericytes, we show pericytes, signaled by endothelial growth factor isoform A165 (VEGF-A165), vigorously drives new vessel growth in both adult and neonatal mouse inner ear tissue. In vivo, the delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 1 (AAV1)-mediated VEGF-A165 viral vector to pericyte depleted animals regenerated lost pericytes, improved blood supply, reduced loss of sensory hair cells, and attenuated hearing loss. These studies provide the first clear-cut evidence that pericytes are critical for adult hearing and can regenerate cochlear vasculature. The restoration of vascular function in the damaged inner ear with AAV1-mediated VEGF-A165 gene therapy is a new strategy for ameliorating vascular associated hearing disorders, including common forms of age-related hearing loss.
SOURCE: Zhang et al. Published March 9, 2021. JCI Insight 2021. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.143285.
That’s all for now.
The Hearing Loss Treatment Report system will be monitoring the scientific literature and news for any further mentions of VEGF-A165… including any progress it makes toward that first big milestone: human clinical trials.
We don’t have a timeline for you (yet)… but you can expect some follow-up coverage in the coming weeks/months.
RE: how to get VEGF-A165 updates
To follow what’s happening with VEGF-A165 (as well as other treatments such as FX-322, OTO-413, PIPE-505), I encourage you to sign up for Hearing Loss Treatment Report email updates. These updates are 100% free… your information is kept private, and… you won’t get any spammy marketing emails or promotional emails. That’s a promise. Instead, you will only receive important (and often exclusive) updates related to up-and-coming hearing loss treatments and scientific breakthroughs.
Questions? Comments? Feedback?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and speak your mind.
I read every email and try my best to reply (thoughtfully) within 1-2 days.
P.S. Do you like these “exclusive” update posts?
Kindly share them with people you know who might find them interesting.
Translational Hearing Center awarded largest NIH grant in Creighton University history
NIH grant to help researchers translate basic hearing loss research into practical therapies
Research center at Creighton University awarded $10.8 million NIH grant to help researchers discover new drugs for hearing loss
Frequency Therapeutics Announces Publication of Phase 1/2 Data Showing Hearing Improvements in Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss Patients Receiving FX-322
Results Published in Leading Peer-Reviewed Otolaryngology Journal, Otology & Neurotology
Statistically Significant Improvements Observed in Word Recognition Tests in Quiet and in Noise; Suggests Potential to Improve Speech Intelligibility, a Major Unmet Need for Individuals with Hearing Loss
Company Expects Interim FX-322 Phase 2a Study Data Later this Quarter
Sensorion Presents New Preclinical Data on SENS-401 at ARO 2021
SENS-401 yields significant treatment benefits in rats with severe hearing loss when initiated with a delay up to 7 days after the initial acoustic trauma
Sensorion presenting three posters at Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) meeting
ARO will be hosted virtually on February 20-24, 2021
Decibel Therapeutics to Present at the 44th Annual Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) Conference
Otonomy Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results and Provides Corporate Update
February 11, 2021 16:17 ET | Source: Otonomy, Inc.
OTIVIDEX® Phase 3 trial results in Ménière’s disease expected by end of February
OTO-313 Phase 2 trial in tinnitus planned to start in first quarter of 2021 with top-line results expected in mid-2022
OTO-413 Phase 1/2 trial expansion in hearing loss expected to start in second quarter of 2021 with results anticipated in mid-2022
New pill that may help improve age-related hearing loss by protecting delicate hair cells in the inner ear
A new drug, SPI-1005, aids hearing by protecting delicate hair cells in inner ear
It is also being tested in U.S. as a potential treatment for patients with Covid-19
The number of auditory hair cells declines due to age, disease and loud noise
Here is a sneak preview of an upcoming podium presentation from Will McLean (Frequency Therapeutics) about hearing restoration and FX-322:
In less than two weeks from today, the 44th Annual ARO MidWinter Meeting will begin.
It is a virtual conference.
On Monday, February 22, 2021, Will McLean (Frequency Therapeutics) will give a podium presentation at this virtual conference.
Here is a copy of McLean’s podium abstract:
Preclinical/Clinical Translational Evidence for a Potential Hearing Restoration Therapeutic, FX-322
Background: Cochlear hair cell loss in mammals is permanent because progenitor cells fail to divide and differentiate on their own. Previous work has shown that the two compounds in FX-322 enhance the regenerative potential of mouse and human progenitor cells in vitro. This multi-group collaboration assessed the pharmacodynamic (PD) and restorative potential of FX-322 in a mouse noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) model, cochlear pharmacokinetics (PK) of intratympanically injected FX-322 in guinea pigs, perilymph concentrations in patients undergoing cochlear implantation, and a safety study of FX-322 in patients with permanent sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
Methods: PD effects were first assessed in a NIHL mouse model to assess the therapeutic potential of FX-322. PK studies with FX-322 were performed in guinea pigs to calibrate a well-established computer model predicting drug distribution over the length of the cochlea with time. The animal PK model was extended to humans by analysis of perilymph samples collected from subjects undergoing cochlear implant surgery. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled, safety trial in patients with permanent/stable SNHL was conducted to assess the systemic safety, plasma PK, and effects on otoscopy, audiometry, and word testing (WR, WIN). The trial enrolled 23 patients with medical histories consistent with either NIHL or sudden SNHL. Treatment was a single unilateral intratympanic dose and patients were monitored overnight for safety, PK and PD over a 90-day period.
Results: Animal PD – A single intratympanic injection of FX322 was associated with increased hair cell counts and improved auditory function compared to placebo in mice with NIHL within one month after treatment. Guinea Pig PK – FX-322 concentrations in samples taken from the RW niche were found to decrease with time, with elimination half-times under 1 hour. The highest drug concentration was observed in the basal regions. Human PK – Intraoperative middle ear contents and perilymph were analyzed for FX-322 approximately 1 hour into surgery for cochlear implant subjects (n=7). While some subjects had anatomical features that have been speculated to impair drug entry, such as mucosal folds or bony overhangs, FX-322 was quantified in all samples analyzed. Human Safety and PD – FX-322 was associated with a favorable safety profile. In FX-322-treated subject ears WR and WIN improved over the duration of the study while placebo-treated subject ears did not.
Conclusions: Both preclinical and clinical PK analyses suggest that FX-322 was able to achieve therapeutically active levels in the extended high frequency region of the cochlea. Preclinically, this was associated with an increase in hair cell counts and auditory brainstem response thresholds. The present work provides the first evidence that a novel potential therapeutic, FX-322, is associated with clinically meaningful improvements in speech recognition in subjects with permanent and stable SNHL, and larger clinical studies are underway.
The source of this “podium abstract” is the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO)’s 44th Annual Mid-Winter Meeting event website.
Here is a link to the
official PDF copy of the February 22, 2021 FX-322 podium presentation [EDIT #1: the link does not work, removed] (uploaded online by ARO’s event organizers… who have once again done a superb job organizing all of the presentations, speakers, podiums, posters, and more, into a friendly and searchable format *even when some links don’t work!).
What’s “new” here?
For readers who have been closely following FX-322 updates… there is nothing truly “new” in this presentation preview. However, we do not know what other data or information or announcements will be shared alongside this presentation. Perhaps we will also get a press release on Monday, February 22 which gives us more substantial “news” *fingers crossed*…
RE: FX-322 updates…
If you’re interested in news updates RE: the very latest hearing loss treatments and recent progress toward potential cures… remember to sign up for the HearingLossTreatmentReport.com email newsletter. It’s 100% free and the goal is to give you an easy (and fast) way to get updates about FX-322 and other promising hearing restoration therapeutics – earlier… often days (and sometimes weeks) ahead of “mainstream” sources.
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Send an email to email@example.com and say hello.
Decibel and Catalent Sign Development and Manufacturing Agreement for Dual-Vector Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Hearing Loss
PRESENTATION: “Perspective on the Potential of Restorative Therapeutics for Sensorineural Hearing Loss” (Slides from KOL Event)
Frequency Therapeutics Appoints Quentin McCubbin, Ph.D., as Chief Manufacturing Officer
WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 19, 2021– Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FREQ), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on harnessing the body’s innate biology to repair or reverse damage caused by a broad range of degenerative diseases, today announced the appointment of Quentin McCubbin, Ph.D., as chief manufacturing officer. Dr. McCubbin will oversee Company technical operations, leading drug product formulation, chemistry manufacturing and controls (CMC) and supply chain, to support the development of Frequency’s pipeline of product candidates.
Dr. McCubbin joins Frequency from Cerevel Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company where he served as head of technical operations. Prior to Cerevel, he spent 19 years at Takeda/Millennium Pharmaceuticals in various roles progressing in responsibility, including six years as vice president of pharmaceutical sciences and global head of process chemistry.
“Quentin’s background and leadership in technical operations will be critical as we prepare for larger studies in support of our lead FX-322 program that aims to treat the most common form of hearing loss, and as we look to diversify and expand our clinical pipeline with a program for remyelination in multiple sclerosis,” sa
Repurposed drug can treat hearing loss in humans
Sensorion Provides an Update on Plans and Progress in the Development of SENS-401 for the Prevention of Hearing Loss
Clinical trial to treat patients suffering from Cisplatin Induced Ototoxicity (CIO) with SENS-401 expected to start in H2 2021
Natural history study in CIO expected to start in H1 2021 to generate data on disease evolution
Phase 2 topline results from SENS-401 study in SSNHL delayed further due to COVID-19 and now expected in Q4 2021
News, Companies, Press Releases
Frequency Therapeutics to Host Investor Event on the Potential for Restorative Treatments for Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Event to be Held January 19, 2021 at 8:00 am ET ; Will Feature Prominent Otolaryngology and Audiology Key Opinion Leaders Phase 2a Day-90 Readout for FX-322, Frequency’s Lead Product Candidate, for Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss Anticipated in Late Q1 2021; End of Study Readout in Late Q2
DATE – PUBLISHED:
DATE – FOUND:
LINK – PUBLISHER:
Hearing Loss Treatment Report, Urgent Research, 2020-12-18T13:22:17+00:00, https://www.hearinglosstreatmentreport.com.
Otonomy Reports Positive Top-Line Results from Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of OTO-413 in Patients with Hearing Loss
December 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM EST
OTO-413 demonstrated a higher proportion of responders than placebo based on multiple speech-in-noise hearing tests
Study is no longer recruiting participants. 30 patients enrolled. Half will get a single dose of FX-322, other half will get a placebo. Estimated primary completion date: March 2021. Estimated study completion date: June 2021. Stay tuned…
Link to official study record (last update posted on December 16, 2020):
The other recently-added FX-322 study (for severe sensorineural hearing loss) is expected to start before the end of the year, according to a November 16 press release from Frequency Therapeutics.
More updates to follow. Remember to subscribe to the email newsletter, which will begin sending soon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or feedback.
Sonova Invests €5 Million in Sensorion as the Companies Plan a Collaboration in Hearing Loss
Sonova invests at €1.70 per share, to hold circa 3.7% stake in Sensorion
Companies signed a letter of intent relating to a collaboration to develop new solutions for hearing loss
The Emerging Hearing Medicines Landscape
A monthly webinar series developed by the Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate, exploring hearing drug discovery in the context of an emerging area for medicines development and a growing market.
Through this series of webinars, we will explore the emerging hearing medicines landscape by inviting leading clinicians, academics and industry representatives along with people with lived experience of hearing loss, to share their expertise and insight.
Over 4 webinars we will provide a 360-view of the field covering the patient need, the key challenges faced by innovators, how to commercialise your hearing research and why regenerative approaches could be a game-changer for hearing medicines discovery.
Promising targets for deafness drug discovery
Phase 1b Study in Patients with Severe SNHL to Start Before Year End
Added today: A Phase 1b, Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled, Single-Dose, Multicenter, Safety Study of FX-322 Administered by Intratympanic Injection in Adults With Severe Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
This is a Phase 1b placebo-controlled, double-blind, single-dose safety study of intratympanic FX-322 dosed in subjects with severe sensorineural hearing loss.
Approximately 30 subjects are planned to be enrolled in this study. The subjects will be randomized to receive one dose FX-322 (24) or placebo (6) and will return for safety, otologic, and audiologic assessments at Days 30 and 90 after the study injection.
What makes this new FX-322 trial different (compared to the trial that was added last month)?
This new study is for severe sensorineural hearing loss (previously added study is for age-related hearing loss). The inclusion criteria requires a “pure tone average of “26-70 dB at 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, and 4000Hz at screening in the ear to be injected.”
Does it include a Tinnitus Assessment as a secondary outcome measure?
Measured by the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), with a scale ranging from 0 to 100 that defines severity categories based on 25 self-reported answers.
What else? More fun facts:
Study is Recruiting and will enroll 30 participants. It does involve a placebo group however the ratio is 4:1 which means most (24) of the participants will get FX-322.
If you like those odds, here are the states where clinical trial sites are located:
- New York
Could more locations be added?
Very possible. We will post an update if/when more sites are added.
Here is the official link to the study:
More FX-322 updates:
If you want ALL of the FX-322 updates and exclusive hearing loss treatment-updates sign up for the free email newsletter.
ACOU 085 phase 1 study in patients with age-related hearing loss is imminent
Decibel Therapeutics Announces Exclusive Licensing Agreements for Hearing Loss Gene Therapy Technology
Frequency Therapeutics Announces Expanded FX-322 Clinical Development Program and Upcoming Day-90 Phase 2a Analysis
Company Will Report Data from Phase 2a Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) Study in Late Q1 2021
First Patient Dosed in Phase 1b Study of Age-Related Hearing Loss; Additional Phase 1b Study for Severe SNHL Patients to Start This Quarter
Preclinical data from these studies are expected by the end of 2020.
Sensorion reports 2020 first half results
Financial position strengthened with €31m (US$36.5m) capital raise in September 2020
Gene therapy agreement expands pipeline and preclinical data
SENS-401 Phase II trial progressing with results expected in mid-2021
Cash position of €30.7m as of June 30, 2020, further reinforced by September capital raise
Cash runway now extended to H2 2022
Very quick update:
The FX-322 Phase 2a clinical trial is now *officially* active and we now have an updated estimated completion date for the study: May 21, 2021.
- The FX-322 study record was updated on October 8, 2020
- The study status was changed from “Recruiting” to “Active, not recruiting”
- The study completion date was changed from September 30, 2020 [Anticipated] to May 21, 2021 [Anticipated].
Source: History of Changes for Study: NCT04120116 (FX-322 in Adults With Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss)
That’s all for now.
For the latest FX-322 updates and news of other hearing loss treatments, sign up for the free once-weekly email newsletter.
Email email@example.com and say hello. Let me know what type of hearing loss treatment updates you like best. Feedback encouraged.
Also, remember to check out TinnitusTreatmentReport.com if you don’t already know about it.
Atomic-level maps of fine ear filaments shine a light on hearing loss
How much will FX-322 cost?
David Lucchino, CEO of Frequency Therapeutics, was recently asked for some “rough ideas around [the] pricing and reimbursement” of FX-322.
Here is a lightly edited* almost-word-for-word transcript of David’s response**:
*EDITED HOW? Disconnected parts of speech and filler words such as umm, well, you know, etc., have been removed for sake of clarity.
**SPOILER ALERT: David, understandably, does NOT give us a specific number. He gives us the answer we all expected, that of a responsible CEO. As he says, “specifics around pricing and regulatory ‘really need to be managed and played out appropriately'” (in other words, NOT eagerly telling us “FX-322 WILL COST EXACTLY THESE MANY DOLLARS” while the drug is still in phase 2a clinical trials).
Specifics? Best I can do is this:
HOST: […] walk us through your thinking around the target patient population and maybe some kind of rough ideas around pricing and reimbursement […]
DAVID LUCCHINO: I’m still evolving our understanding of this as we really work in partner with the FDA to understand exactly the true, we think, impact of our therapy. So it’s hard for me to speak in any absolutes. We know that the market is absolutely substantial and the unmet clinical need is very, very high. We think that hearing aids will continue to have a real role and be a good option for patients, though we think having a therapy that can truly start to heal someone’s hearing and create a healthy cochlea, if you will, is going to be a very strong value proposition both with or without hearing aids. I think that specifics around pricing and regulatory, those really need to be managed and played out appropriately. I think that we’re aware of what hearing aids are priced at, and we’re aware of what cochlear implants are priced at, and how hearing aids are handled from a regulatory standpoint and our goal is to deliver a highly effective therapy and do it in a way where we can continue to build out a very successful company that investors will recognize for years and years to come.
HOST: Excellent, super helpful.
SOURCE: Where is this from? These comments were made during a live Q&A at the Oppenheimer Virtual Fall Healthcare Life Sciences & MedTech Summit, which took place on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10:00 am Eastern Time.
As David’s comments suggest, a lot of work goes into determining the price of a treatment such as FX-322. Meanwhile, the drug only recently completed enrollment for its Phase 2a study.
So don’t expect any “Hey it will cost THIS many dollars” answers yet…
For now, this recent commentary is the most recent and up-to-date information regarding FX-322’s price tag. Straight from the CEO’s mouth.
And let’s be honest, it is the reply we all expected… But with some interesting “price anchoring” thrown in with the mention of hearing aid costs (average price: $2372) and cochlear implant costs (average price: between $30,000-$100,000).***
Why would David mention those price points? How do drug companies calculate price? How do comparisons and price anchoring factor into that calculation?
Let the speculation begin!
LINK TO VIDEO: If you want to watch the interview, here is a link to the video recording of the Frequency Therapeutics virtual event webcast (the FX-322 pricing-related comments begin at around 39:00):
If you want an easy way to follow FX-322 including any future updates RE: cost of FX-322, join the weekly email update list. It’s a free, once-weekly email [starting soon] that lists all the new links that were added to this site’s front page during the previous 7 days. No spam, no nonsense.
Decades-old theory on how ears work is wrong
After 30 years, scientists still don’t know how the ear tells the brain what it is hearing
Frequency Therapeutics Completes Enrollment of FX-322 Phase 2a Study for Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Frequency Therapeutics Presents Results Demonstrating Sustained Improvement in Hearing Loss Patients Treated with FX-322
Evidence of Durable Hearing Improvements in Follow-Up with Patients from Phase 1/2 Study; Speech Intelligibility and Audibility Sustained for Up to 21 Months After Initial Dosing
Data Highlighted at the 2020 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Annual Meeting
Role of protein in development of new hearing hair cells
Finding could lead to future treatments for hearing loss
September 11, 2020
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Researchers have conducted a study that has determined the role that a critical protein plays in the development of hair cells. These hair cells are vital for hearing. Some of these cells amplify sounds that come into the ear, and others transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain.
Decibel Therapeutics to Present at Citi’s 15th Annual BioPharma Virtual Conference
expects to achieve target enrollment by early in the fourth quarter of 2020. Based on this timeline, the Company expects to report study data in the second quarter of 2021.
Frequency Therapeutics Provides Business Updates and Reports Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results
Expects to Complete Enrollment of FX-322 Phase 2a Study for Sensorineural Hearing Loss by Early Q4 2020; Study Readout Anticipated in Q2 2021
Recently Announced Clinical Data Show FX-322 Delivery to the Cochlea and Preliminary Evidence of a Durable Clinical Benefit; Plans New Studies in Additional Patient Populations
Raised $42.3 Million Private Placement, Providing Company Runway into 2023
August 12, 2020 07:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FREQ), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on harnessing the body’s innate biology to repair or reverse damage caused by a broad range of degenerative diseases, today announced business updates and financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020.
“We are pleased with the steady progress in our Phase 2a study, despite the challenges of the pandemic, and we anticipate completing enrollment early in the fourth quarter of 2020 and sharing data from the study in the second quarter of 2021,” said Frequency Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer David L. Lucchino. “In the last quarter, we generated compelling cochlear drug delivery data for FX-322, as well as important durability data suggesting that some patients who were given a single injection of FX-322 in our original Phase 1/2 study maintained statistically significant improvements in word recognition between 12 and 21 months following administration. We believe that these clinical advances are important building blocks as we work to further our understanding of FX-322 drug activity and the patient populations we hope to treat.
As anticipated, Pipeline Therapeutics has added additional clinical trial sites to its phase 1/2a study of PIPE-505 for hearing loss.
The official study record (NCT04462198), updated on August 6, 2020, now includes five study locations across the U.S., four of which are now recruiting participants:
- Boca Raton, Florida, United States, 33487 – added July 17 – Recruiting
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States, 27103 – added July 27 – Recruiting
- New Albany, Indiana, United States, 47150 – added August 1 – Recruiting
- Louisville, Kentucky, United States, 40220 – added August 1 – Recruiting
- Kansas City, Kansas, United States, 66160 – added August 4 – Not yet recruiting
This post will be updated to include any further changes to the study record. For email updates (which will be starting soon), join the announcement list while it is still open.
Otonomy Announces Exclusive License Agreement with Kyorin for Novel Compound in OTO-6XX Hearing Loss Program
Compound has potential to benefit patients with severe hearing loss
Hough Ear Institute receives $300K grant to support research treatments for hearing loss
How Artificial Intelligence Could Completely Restore Hearing
Lip-reading AI and Elon Musk’s “Neuralink” could deliver near-perfect audio and skip the ear entirely
Pipeline Therapeutics Initiates Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of PIPE-505 in Sensorineural Hearing Loss
PIPE-505 is the first small molecule developed specifically for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) associated with speech-in-noise impairment
Topline results expected in early 2021
SAN DIEGO, July 23, 2020 – Pipeline Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class small molecules for neuroregeneration, today announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2a trial of the company’s lead product candidate, PIPE-505, a small molecule gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI), in sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) associated with hearing speech in noisy environments.
This is a follow-up post to the previous PIPE-505 clinical trial update from July 8 where we explained how “patient recruitment could begin any day now.”
Today, less than two weeks later, that forecast proved accurate: the PIPE-505 trial is now RECRUITING, according to the official study record (NCT04462198), which had its Recruitment Status updated yesterday.
Here is an excerpt from that ClinicalTrials.gov record:
STUDY TITLE: A Phase I/IIa, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Safety, Pharmacokinetic, and Preliminary Efficacy Study of Unilateral Intratympanic PIPE-505 in Subjects With Sensorineural Hearing Loss Associated With Speech-in-Noise Impairment
Recruitment Status: Recruiting
First Posted: July 8, 2020
Last Update Posted: July 20, 2020
DESCRIPTION: This is a randomized-controlled, double-blind study of PIPE-505 or placebo given as an injection one time in subjects with sensorineural hearing loss associated with speech-in-noise difficulty. Visits to the clinic will occur at baseline, dosing, and days 1, 7, 14, 30, 60 and 90 after treatment. Safety will be assessed by periodic measurement of vital signs, ear examination, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood laboratory analyses and occurrence of adverse events (AE). Efficacy will be assessed by periodic audiometry and other audiological tests.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04462198
Where is the PIPE-505 study located?
As of July 21, 2020, there is only one recruitment location (Florida) for the trial. But it is common for studies like this one to expand and add more locations across the country and sometimes internationally, too. We expect more recruitment sites to be added in the next 4-6 weeks, although we do not have an exact list of those locations… yet…
UPDATE: August 29, 2020 – A second recruitment location (North Carolina) has been added to the list. (More to come?)
More updates to follow for PIPE-505 and other up-and-coming hearing loss treatments. Keep an eye on the front page of this website for updates, or get email updates (it’s an upcoming once-weekly email newsletter – no spam, no third parties, privacy respected).
People on the email list will get first access to new versions of this website that track more research from more sources…
Questions? Comments? Corrections? Collaborations? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say hello.
Dramatic Effect: Bone disease medications (bisphosphonates) may reverse sensorineural hearing loss
Harvard Medical School researchers find that bisphosphonates, commonly used to prevent bone density loss, could potentially reverse sensorineural hearing loss
Researching a Medication to Treat Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The study titled, Phase I/IIa Study Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of an Intratympanic Dose of PIPE-505 in Subjects With Hearing Loss, was added to the official ClinicalTrials.gov databased on July 8, 2020.
The recruitment status of the clinical trial is currently set to “Not yet recruiting.” However, that could change very soon, considering a) the follow-up period for trial participants after the initial drug administration lasts 3 months, and b) the anticipated primary completion date of the study is four months away, in November 2020.
These details suggest that patient recruitment could begin any day now and – assuming there are no changes to the study’s current schedule – probably no later than 4-6 weeks from now.
UPDATE (current as of July 21, 2020): the PIPE-505 study is now recruiting patients… see this follow-up post for details or visit the official study page using the link below:
Here is further reading about PIPE-505, a small molecule gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI) that will be delivered to select trial participants as a one-time intratympanic injection:
PIPE-505 is the first small molecule developed specifically for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) associated with cochlear synaptopathy. The therapeutic focus, regeneration of the cochlear synapse, should augment signal-to-noise processing and manifest as improved speech-in-noise comprehension, a chief auditory complaint and unmet need of patients with SNHL.
A simpler way to make sensory hearing cells
July 1, 2020
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Scientists are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as ‘hair cells,’ due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves.
Otonomy Provides Update on Clinical Trials and Development Programs
June 15, 2020 16:05 ET | Source: Otonomy, Inc.
- Results from Phase 3 trial of OTIVIDEX® in Ménière’s disease expected in first quarter of 2021
- Results from Phase 1/2 trial of OTO-313 in tinnitus expected in July 2020
- Results from Phase 1/2 trial of OTO-413 in hearing loss expected in fourth quarter of 2020
SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Otonomy, Inc. (Nasdaq: OTIC), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics for neurotology, today provided an update on its product pipeline and the timeline to results for the company’s three ongoing clinical trials, including the Phase 3 trial of OTIVIDEX in Ménière’s disease. The company will host a conference call and webcast today at 4:30 p.m. ET to review these updates.
Study charts developmental map of inner ear sound sensor in mice
Data offers valuable resource for developing stem cell-based therapies for hearing loss
Stem Cell Study Offers Clues On How To Potentially Restore Hearing
May 26, 2020
Frequency Therapeutics Shares Clinical Data From Exploratory Study Confirming Delivery of FX-322 to the Cochlea
Decibel Therapeutics to Present at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)
Akouos to Present Data from Inner Ear Gene Therapy Platform at 23rd ASGCT Annual Meeting
Frequency Therapeutics has once again updated the official Study Record of its Phase 2a clinical trial of FX-322 in Adults With Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
The update – which includes a new clinical trial site in Austin, Texas – was posted to ClinicalTrials.gov on April 10, 2020.
No Slowdown Due to COVID-19?
It looks like the FX-322 trial is still moving forward as expected, running on schedule.
Usually, a small change to a study record would not seem like such big news.
However, in the context of COVID-19, it is noteworthy. And uplifting! Why?
Consider this: while many clinical trials across the world are experiencing massive slowdowns and stoppages due to COVID-19, the FX-322 Phase 2a trial is expanding its presence to yet another location in the United States. Expanding!
That is not to say the trial has not been affected by COVID-19. For example, patient recruitment efforts and other logistics have probably become more challenging.
However, despite all that is happening, what we see with this update is more activity and signs of life. Things are happening. Plus, we have proof that the study is not paused or stopped. In fact, there is no sign of any delay at all…
FULL SPEED AHEAD!
The estimated study completion date (September 30, 2020) remains unchanged. Repeat: the estimated completion date of the FX-322 trial has NOT been pushed back despite the impact of COVID-19, according to the latest study record.
Small update, big news.
Link to official study page:
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Strekin AG, a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new treatments to reverse hearing loss, has completed its Phase 3 clinical trial of the investigational drug STR001 in patients with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL).
According to the official study record (Source: ClinicalTrials.gov), the Status of Study NCT03331627, Safety and Efficacy of STR001-IT and STR001-ER in Patients With SSHL, was changed from “Recruiting” to “Completed” on March 25, 2020. The actual completion date of the study was updated to February 6, 2020.
The purpose of this international, randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 study, officially titled Phase III Multicenter, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Study Evaluating the Safety, and Efficacy of STR001 Treatment in Adults With Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, was to evaluate the ability of STR001 to restore hearing in patients following a SSNHL event.
If the results are promising, STR001 could become the first approved treatment for SSNHL patients.
The previous update related to this clinical trial of STR001 was from over six months ago, on September 12, 2019. That is when Strekin AG announced in a press release the completion of patient recruitment for the study (which involved 165 patients).
Prior to that, the last change to the study record was almost a year ago, on April 10, 2019. That is when the study began recruiting patients, according to the official study page.
To get more exclusive (and early, early, early) hearing loss treatment-related news and updates, remember to join the mailing list for HearingLossTreatmentReport.com Email Updates. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. One email per week – a simple list of links that were posted on the site during the previous 7 days. No spam or nonsense, completely private.
INVITATION TO RESEARCHERS, INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS, and RESEARCH-SEEKING PATIENTS: For more information about how this site works, and how it automatically gathers all the latest and most relevant hearing loss treatment-related updates non-stop, 24/7… send an email to email@example.com and say hello.
– Michael S.
P.S. Here are three other hearing-related “treatment report” sites that might interest you:
The status of study NCT02132130 (Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy for CGF166 in Patients With Unilateral or Bilateral Severe-to-profound Hearing Loss), was changed from “Active, not recruiting” to “Completed” on March 19, 2020.
According to the official study record, the actual completion date of the trial was December 9, 2019.
The previous update to this clinical trial of CGF166 was posted just over four months ago, on November 15, 2019. That is when the study status was changed from “Recruiting” to “Active, not recruiting.”
Sensorion provides update on SENS-401 SSNHL Phase 2 AUDIBLE-S trial enrollment
Dozens of backers chime in on $100M round for hearing loss startup
Akouos Raises $105 Million in Funding to Advance First-In-Human Clinical Studies of AK-OTOF, a Potential Gene Therapy for Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Researchers in Oklahoma City developing hearing restoration pill
Many fish, frogs, and birds possess special regeneration capacities that allow them to fully recover from hearing impairments and balance dysfunctions caused by lost hair cells.
Humans and other mammals, however, do NOT have this ability.
Sadly, our mammalian ears are vulnerable to permanent hearing loss and balance deficits.
But that could soon change…
Because new research from Jeff T. Corwin at the University of Virginia appears to have uncovered the reason for the permanent nature of hair cell loss in humans. The findings identify why certain creatures can recover from hearing damage and why humans cannot.
The most exciting part?
The team behind the research, part of Corwin’s Laboratory of Inner Ear Sensory Hair Cell Regeneration, has discovered a pharmacological treatment that could “wake up” the special supporting cells that can allow lost hair cells to regenerate in humans.
To learn more about how it works, here is a link to the study itself — which was published on February 20, 2020 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Here is the abstract:
J Neurosci. 2020 Feb 19;:
Authors: Kozlowski MM, Rudolf MA, Corwin JT
Sensory hair cell losses underlie the vast majority of permanent hearing and balance deficits in humans, but many non-mammalian vertebrates can fully recover from hearing impairments and balance dysfunctions, because supporting cells (SCs) in their ears retain lifelong regenerative capacities that depend on proliferation and differentiation as replacement hair cells. Most SCs in vertebrate ears stop dividing during embryogenesis, and soon after birth vestibular SCs in mammals transition to lasting quiescence as they develop massively thickened circumferential F-actin bands at their E-cadherin-rich adherens junctions.
Here, we report that treatment with EGF and a GSK3 inhibitor thinned the circumferential F-actin bands throughout the sensory epithelium of cultured utricles that were isolated from adult mice of either sex. That treatment also caused decreases in E-cadherin, β-catenin, and YAP in the striola, and stimulated robust proliferation of mature, normally quiescent striolar SCs. The findings suggest that E-cadherin-rich junctions, which are not present in the SCs of the fish, amphibians, and birds which readily regenerate hair cells, are responsible in part for the mammalian ear’s vulnerability to permanent balance and hearing deficits.
Millions of people are affected by hearing and balance deficits that arise when loud sounds, ototoxic drugs, infections, and aging cause hair cell losses. Such deficits are permanent for humans and other mammals, but non-mammals can recover hearing and balance after supporting cells regenerate replacement hair cells. Mammalian supporting cells lose the capacity to proliferate around the time they develop unique, exceptionally reinforced, E-cadherin-rich intercellular junctions. Here, we report the discovery of a pharmacological treatment that thins F-actin bands, depletes E-cadherin, and stimulates proliferation in long-quiescent supporting cells within a balance epithelium from adult mice. The findings suggest that high E-cadherin in those supporting cell junctions may be responsible, in part, for the permanence of hair cell loss in mammals.
PMID: 32079647 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Additional research shows that there is a U.S. Provisional Patent Application related to the research posted here is currently pending. The application number is 62/951,996 and it was filed on December 20, 2019. The patent applicant is Jeffrey T. Corwin, and the other inventors listed include Mark Rudolf and Mikolaj Kozlowski.
Hearing Loss Treatment Report will continue to keep an eye on this promising new (potential) hearing loss treatment, which involves treatment with an EGF and a GSK3 inhibitor, and is currently being tested in mice. But considering the patent filing and strong evidence, human trials will surely follow.
Want updates? Remember to sign up for free weekly email updates, here. Especially if you want to know about new hearing loss drugs and experimental treatments as soon as possible.
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Oblato Biotech Company Acquires Hearing Loss Drug Discovered by Hough Ear Institute Scientists
Pill to restore natural hearing moves one step closer to market
Frequency Therapeutics updates official Study Record of Phase 2a clinical trial, FX-322 in Adults With Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
The changes were posted to ClinicalTrials.gov on January 29, 2020 and involve: a) four new study locations, and b) adjustments to the eligibility criteria.
Interestingly, the opening of any additional U.S. sites could add new information to a past statement made by Frequency Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer, David Lucchino, who said, “We have opened all U.S. sites for our Phase 2a study of FX-322,” according to a November 18, 2019 press release.
More importantly, however, is the great opportunity these new locations could provide to any interested (and eligible) patients living in New York, Texas, Utah, or Virginia.
Clinical Trial Recruitment Locations: EXTENDED EDITION
The following four locations were added to the list of clinical trial sites:
United States, New York
Amherst, New York, United States, 14226
United States, Texas
San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78258
United States, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84102
United States, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23235
As of February 4, 2020, these four new locations are not yet recruiting patients. However, that could change at any moment. Meanwhile, the other recruitment sites — which were posted back in October — are still actively recruiting.
The other recent changes to the FX-322 clinical trial record involve the study’s Eligibility Criteria. Changes were made to both the Inclusion and Exclusion criteria.
FX-322 Trial Eligibility: REMASTERED
Inclusion Criteria (Nov 2019 vs. Feb 2020)
Established diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss by standard audiometric measures that is stable for ≥ 6 months prior to the Screening Visit [no changes greater than 5 decibels (dB) in anyfrequency].
Established diagnosis of stable sensorineural hearing loss by standard audiometric measures for ≥ 6 months prior to the Screening visit (no changes in air conduction greater than 10 dB at a singlefrequency or greater than 5 dB at two contiguous frequencies from the prior audiogram to the Screening audiogram in the study ear).
Exclusion Criteria (Nov 2019 vs. Feb 2020)
Any conductive hearing loss of 10 dB or more at two or more frequencies in either ear.
Any conductive hearing loss of greater than 15 dB at a single frequency or greater than 10 dB at two or more contiguous octave frequencies in the study ear at the Screening visit or on the prior audiogram (if the Investigator feels there is not a true conductive hearing loss, the Medical Monitor should be consulted).
That’s all for now.
Note: The next actually interesting FX-322 progress update should be arriving in June, which is when Frequency Therapeutics could be ready to report top-line data from the trial.
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Boston area startups making slow progress in fight against hearing loss
New ‘fast-track’ system for tinnitus and hearing loss
Action on Hearing Loss and the Medicines Discovery Catapult have teamed up to launch a new “Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate”, a collaboration designed to accelerate the “much-needed development” of treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.
The collaboration will be partnering with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), with academic expertise in hearing research provided University College London Hospitals BRC, Nottingham BRC and Manchester BRC, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.
Sensorion Announces €5.6m Non-Dilutive Funding to Support SENS-401 Phase 2 Study in Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss; French Ministry of Armed Forces to Participate in the Study
Pipeline Therapeutics’ lead candidate, PIPE-505, is entering Phase 1b/2a testing to treat mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) associated with cochlear synaptopathy. PIPE-505 is uniquely positioned to treat this patient population as it can have an impact on both audibility and speech intelligibility, addressing two separate pathologies associated with hearing loss.
Pipeline Therapeutics Completes $30 Million Series B Financing – Proceeds to advance PIPE-505 in hearing loss
DECEMBER 4, 2019
Reprogramming inner ear to regrow hair cells promising target for hearing loss treatments
by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
3D-Printed Microneedles Open Ears to New Treatments
Sensorion Announces an Oral Presentation of New SENS-401 Preclinical Data at ISIET 2019 in Hannover: An oral presentation on the capacity of SENS-401 to reduce central auditory neuron loss after acoustic trauma in preclinical studies
SENS-401 shows capacity to reduce central auditory neuron loss after acoustic trauma in preclinical studies
New therapy has potential to repair cells damaged by noise, prevent hearing loss
Targeting the Inner Ear
New startups are taking aim at delivering drugs to help treat hearing loss
Sensorion Announces a Poster Presentation of New SENS-401 Preclinical Data at SFN 2019 in Chicago
A poster presentation on the absence of impact due to acoustic trauma on the SENS-401 inner ear exposure in preclinical studies
Sensorion Announces a Poster Presentation of New SENS-401 Preclinical Data at SFN 2019 in Chicago
A poster presentation on the absence of impact due to acoustic trauma on the SENS-401 inner ear exposure in preclinical studies
The phase 2a study of FX-322 in Adults With Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss is now recruiting at 12 locations in 8 different states.
Previously, the only clinical trial location listed on the study page was in North Carolina. Not anymore…
Here is the expanded list featuring 11 new locations in 7 other states:
List of FX-322 Phase 2a Clinical Trial Locations
- Fresno, California, United States, 93720
- Torrance, California, United States, 90503
- Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, 80909
- Boca Raton, Florida, United States, 33487
- Sarasota, Florida, United States, 34239
- Tampa, Florida, United States, 33612
- Louisville, Kentucky, United States, 40207
- Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 68118
- Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27713
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States, 27103
- Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States, 29118
- San Antonio, Texas, United States, 78240
This information was found on the official FX-322 phase 2a study record page, which was recently updated to include these new study locations on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
MORE locations expected?
Could even more locations be added to this phase 2a study?
However, based on the study’s estimated enrollment — limited to 96 participants — it seems unnecessary.
And what about FX-322 trials outside of the United States? Nothing to report yet. (That will be the topic of a separate post.)
Recruitment Status: Recruiting
As of Saturday, October 19, 2019, all 12 of the study locations listed above are now recruiting participants.
Frequency Therapeutics Commences Dosing in its Phase 2a Study of FX-322 for Sensorineural Hearing Loss; FDA Grants FX-322 Fast Track Designation
Frequency Therapeutics is now recruiting patients for phase 2 of its clinical trial of FX-322 in patients with sensorineural hearing loss.
This phase 2a study will assess the exploratory efficacy, as well as the local and systemic safety of single and repeat intratympanic doses of FX-322 compared to placebo in approximately 96 subjects with stable mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss, with a medical history consistent with either excessive noise exposure or idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
The study was added and updated to ClinicalTrials.gov on October 9, 2019.
There IS a placebo group… and…
Estimated enrollment is 96 participants and the first recruiting location is North Carolina.
The study is titled FX-322 in Adults With Stable Sensorineural Hearing Loss and can be found on ClinicalTrials.gov at this link: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04120116?type=Intr&cond=Hearing+Loss&lupd_s=09%2F25%2F2019&lupd_d=14&sort=nwst
AGTC and Otonomy Announce Strategic Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Gene Therapy for Congenital Hearing Loss
Signs of Improved Hearing With Progenitor Cell Activator
Some pure tone improvement, significant increases in word recognition
Otonomy Initiating Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of OTO-413 in Hearing Loss
Results expected in second half of 2020