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      Hearing loss prevention

      Treatments that aim to stop or prevent hearing loss are called otoprotective.

      What is otoprotection?

      Otoprotective treatments aim to protect hearing against different factors that damage the cells in the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve cells connecting the ear to the brain.

      These factors include:

      • ageing
      • sudden sensorineural hearing loss
      • noise
      • drugs toxic to the ear (such as aminoglycoside antibiotics and the chemotherapy drug cisplatin).

      Several prescribed drugs cause hearing loss or tinnitus. Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug widely used to treat cancer, especially in children, but it causes hearing loss as a side effect. Following treatment, permanent and severe high frequency hearing loss occurs in six out of every 10 children, hampering their language and social development. 

      Aminoglycoside antibiotics are a type of antibiotic used to treat life-threatening infections, especially in premature and new-born babies. They also cause hearing loss as a side effect.

      According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion young people (12–35 years old) are at risk of losing their hearing due to recreational noise.

      How could otoprotective treatments potentially benefit me in the future?

      Using an otoprotective treatment alongside aminoglycoside antibiotics or chemotherapy treatments as well as before or after loud noise exposure could potentially stop or prevent the sequence of events that lead to hearing loss. These treatments also have the potential to prevent age-related hearing loss.

      How can I find out more?

      At the moment, the companies developing otoprotective treatments are the ones that have progressed the most. Some of them have clinical trials in Phase 2 and Phase 3. Find out more about the clinical trials on otoprotective treatments for hearing loss below.

      Auris Medical (drug)

      Sudden hearing loss

      Decibel Therapeutics (drug)

      Aminoglycoside antibiotics and Cisplatin-induced Hearing Loss, Phase 1 clinical trials

      Fennec Pharmaceutical (drug)

      Cisplatin-induced hearing loss

      Nordmark Arzneimittel (drug)

      Sudden Hearing Loss

      Otonomy (drug)

      Ménière’s disease

      Sensorion (drug)

      Sudden Hearing Loss & Cisplatin-induced hearing loss

      Sound Pharmaceuticals (drug)

      Strekin (drug)

      Sudden Hearing Loss


      All the clinical trials presented in these pages are current as of April 2019 and represent a non-exhaustive list of the clinical trials that are currently taking place.

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