- Published on 06 October 2016
Seattle-based startup Sound Pharmaceuticals is currently working on raising USD 30 million in investment funding for the development of new hearing loss treatments. So far, the company has raised more than USD 4 million, according to co-founder and CEO Jonathan Kil.
The purpose of the funding is to develop new therapies and preventive treatments for hearing loss. Specifically, the funds will be used to support the phase II trial of SPI-1005, a drug containing ebselen, a potential therapy for hearing loss and bipolar disorder, among other conditions.
After successful early trials, the objective is now to test the drug’s efficacy as a treatment for noise-induced hearing loss. Ebselen was originally assessed as treatment for stroke and was found to be safe but not effective in this indication. Researchers at the University of Oxford, UK are studying the compound in bipolar disorder because it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
In terms of the hearing indication, ebselen is an anti-inflammatory that can enter the cochlea and actively heal cells damaged by noise, according to Jonathan Kil. This could potentially prevent or reverse hearing loss. Ebselen is also being studied as a possible treatment modality for other inner ear conditions such as Meniere’s disease and ototoxicity as an adverse effect of certain antibiotics and chemotherapies.
Although implants work well, Kil sees a gap between these expensive options for people with complete deafness and treatment possibilities for those with less severe sensorineural hearing loss.Source: GeekWire; University of Oxford