Today, about 360 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss – and approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report at least some loss of hearing. That number rises dramatically with age: 30 percent of adults 65 to 74, and nearly half of those aged 75 and older have diminished hearing. The disorder costs approximately $50 billion a year in the U.S. alone, according to estimates by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the vast majority of cases, hearing loss is due to the damage or death of the hair cells that are the sensory receptors in the cochlea. To date, the only available treatment for this “sensorineural” hearing loss has been prosthetic devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants; no pharmaceutical treatment exists. Dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of new treatments for hearing loss, Audion Therapeutics is building on research from the Edge laboratory of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). Audion’s lead program focuses on small-molecule drugs that trigger the regeneration of hair cells in the inner ear. Audion has exclusive rights to MEEI-developed technology and the IP portfolio comprises molecules and drug-discovery tools for hearing and hearing-loss research.
- Rolf Jan Rutten Founder & CEO
- Helmuth van Es, PhD Founder & CSO