Medicines discovery collaboration to fast-track development of hearing therapeutics

BRC deafness and hearing problems researchers will work in partnership with a unique medicines discovery collaboration launched today to fast-track development of treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.

The Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate – launched by the charity Action on Hearing Loss and the government-funded not-for-profit Medicines Discovery Catapult – will connect companies – particularly those new to the field of hearing therapeutics – to the academic expertise and infrastructure needed for clinical development of treatments.

As well as the BRC at UCLH, the Syndicate will work with NIHR BRCs at Nottingham and Manchester, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

Hearing loss affects almost half a billion people globally, with nearly 12 million people in the UK impacted. Despite the number of people affected, there are no registered pharmaceutical treatments for hearing loss or tinnitus. But recent scientific developments in the understanding of the biology underlying hearing loss are beginning to address this issue.

Professor Anne Schilder, Director of the BRC’s Deafness and Hearing Problems theme, said: “We look forward to working with the Syndicate. There is a huge unmet need for new hearing therapeutics and recent scientific developments mean that there is now real potential for effective treatments to be developed and licensed for patients.”

Dr Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “People with hearing loss tell us that being able to hear well would transform their lives. Our initiative will help bring life-changing treatments to people with hearing loss and tinnitus faster.”

Dr Alessandra Gaeta, Syndicates Programme Director at Medicines Discovery Catapult, said the Syndicate, “brings together partners that provide unique knowledge, expertise and specialised networks to accelerate research in hearing therapeutics. We are motivated to support innovators through their journey of bringing new therapeutics to the clinic in this area of unmet need. We encourage all those interested to get in touch.”

Visit the Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate website to find out more.