Berlin, 3 March 2021 – The 3rd of March is World Hearing Day. On the occasion the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its first World Report on Hearing. Hearing disorders are known to be a global problem. The WHO however warns that by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people will be living with some degree of hearing loss unless action is taken. In other words: In less than 30 years 1 in 4 people worldwide could be affected.1
While prevention can help maintain good hearing and reduce the potential for hearing loss, according to the WHO, an estimated 466 million people are currently suffering from disabling hearing loss already.2 3
Once a hearing disorder has manifested, immense consequences arise for patients and their families. The loss of communication – an almost inevitably consequence of hearing loss – can lead to social withdrawal, isolation and depression.4 Hearing loss limits job opportunities of those affected. Hearing loss also increases the risk of accidents. Overall, hearing loss presents a significant economic burden, reflected by an estimated loss in gross domestic product of up to 2% in developed countries.5
Despite these devastating consequences, to date there are no approved drugs for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss or tinnitus. Steroids are widely used, however to date clinical trials were not able to show conclusively more than weak evidence of minimal to moderate efficacy.
“Closing the gap to effective treatments for patients with sudden hearing loss and tinnitus has to be part of the solution to the problem our healthcare system is currently facing”, says Reimar Schlingensiepen, MD, CEO of AudioCure. “At AudioCure we are determined to change the treatment landscape through a comprehensive therapeutic approach.” AudioCure´s lead molecule AC102 is unique as it protects cells and restores functionality of all affected cells that are critical to the hearing process. The therapeutic approach goes beyond the treatment of symptoms and has the potential to become the first breakthrough causative therapy for acute hearing loss and acute tinnitus.
A Phase I clinical trial to assess safety and tolerability of AC102 suspension in healthy volunteers is currently ongoing.