A disease modifying novel molecule
AudioCure Pharma is developing AC102 for the treatment of acute hearing disorders including acute hearing loss and acute tinnitus.
How AC102 works
In acute sensorineural hearing loss, the sensitive structures within the inner ear which are critical for the hearing process are damaged; namely the inner and outer hair cells. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the unique potential of AC102 to tackle the damage to these key players.
Mechanisms of Action
AC102 protects and restores cells of the inner ear
Outer hair cells within the cochlea sharpen and amplify sound pressure waves from the outer ear. This signal is then received by the inner hair cells which send it on to the brain via the auditory nerve. Therefore, the inner and outer hair cells and the neurons of the auditory nerve are critical to the hearing process. Following acute hearing loss, AC102 acts upon all three of these cell types to either protect them from further damage or restore already damaged cells.
AC102 prevents outer hair cell apoptotic cell death
Outer hair cells act as amplifiers in the hearing process. Damage by an acoustic trauma can lead to their programmed cell death, a process known as apoptosis. Once dead, these cells cannot be replaced and their amplification role is lost. Our studies demonstrate that AC102 significantly reduces apoptosis of outer hair cells following acute hearing loss.
AC102 enhances protection and repair processes
Following acute hearing loss, it is very important to both repair damaged cells and protect them from further damage. AC102 enhances factors that are central to these protection and repair processes, giving the cells of the auditory system a greater chance of survival after injury.
AC102 reduces inflammation
Acute sensorineural hearing loss leads to an increase in pro-inflammatory factors in the inner ear which, in turn, results in inflammation. AC102 increases the release of anti-inflammatory factors which can help to counteract these damaging effects.
In summary, AC102 acts as an antagonist of the multitude of pathological processes leading to hearing loss.