Soon a treatment for deafness? Here is the daunting challenge launched by an American company. This drug, which is still being tested, is based on the concept of regenerative medicine and aims to regenerate the cells responsible for hearing.
You probably know people in your entourage whose hearing has deteriorated. If this can cause some inconvenience to those around you (speaking louder, turning up the volume on the television, etc.), it can also be a factor of confinement for those suffering from this condition.
Currently, the solutions are mainly limited to medical devices that are placed in the ear. But a new solution could emerge, based on a new type of regenerative therapy.
Frequency Therapeutics is collaborating with MIT on a treatment for deafness. The first published clinical trial is encouraging. Among the 200 volunteers, the researchers “clinically significant improvements seen in speech perception in three separate clinical studies” the company said in a press release.
“Some of these people couldn’t hear for 30 years, and for the first time they said they could walk into a crowded restaurant and hear what their kids were saying.”
Robert Langer, professor at the MIT Institute
One step closer to regenerative medicine
This treatment targets the hair cells in the inner ear. These are essential for good hearing. However, “Humans are born with about 15,000 hair cells in each cochlea. These cells die over time and never regenerate.”, explains the biotechnology company. The company’s goal is to regenerate these cells by injecting the drug into the ear.
Specialists believe that their approach, based on injecting a treatment to regenerate cells, has an advantage over gene therapy treatments in which cells are extracted from a patient, programmed in the lab, and then transported to the appropriate area.
“Your body’s tissues contain precursor cells, so we see a huge range of applications”conclude the researchers who are working on a different treatment to treat multiple sclerosis.
(ETX Daily Up)