FDA gives approval for ABI clinical trial

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given final approval to begin a clinical trial of an Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) procedure for children. The trial is a surgical collaboration sponsored by the House Research Institute in partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Vittorio Colletti, MD of the University of Verona Hospital, Verona, Italy.

The ABI was developed at the House Research Institute and is the world’s first successful prosthetic hearing device to stimulate neurons directly at the human brainstem, bypassing the inner ear and hearing nerve entirely. Since the procedure began, more than 1,000 adults worldwide have received the ABI, with surgeons at the House Clinic leading the way.

“This will be the first FDA-approved trial of its kind, and represents a major step forward to bring a sense of hearing to deaf children in the U.S. who are born without a hearing nerve or cochlea (hearing organ) and therefore are unable to benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants,” said Neil Segil, Ph.D, executive vice president for research, House Research Institute. “Since its development at the House Research Institute in 1979 by Drs. William House and William Hitselberger, the ABI has been successful in providing a sense of sound to many adults in the U.S., however it has never been approved by the FDA for treating deafness in children. This study has the potential to expand the use of this remarkable device, which represents the only effective sensory prosthetic for direct brain stimulation in use today.”

Source: House Research Institute RS

Rose Simpson