New preclinical study findings presented at the 53rd American Neurotology Society (ANS) Annual Spring Meeting reveal the first potential biomarker for noise-induced hearing loss.

The collaborative research study’s findings were jointly presented by Sensorion, a French-based biotech company developing treatments for inner ear disorders, and UConn Health, and announced in a press release.

The laboratory study identified changes in prestin blood levels, an outer hair cell (OHC) protein, in a preclinical model with noise-induced hearing loss. Researchers analyzed the blood samples for the amount of circulating blood serum prestin levels. The study showed that the severity of hearing loss correlated with amount of change in levels of prestin circulating in the blood.

“Noise-induced hearing loss is a devastating condition that significantly affects patients’ quality of life,” said Dr Kourosh Parham, associate professor and director of research in UConn Health’s Division of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery. “Working with Sensorion to arrive at these results has been an opportunity to introduce the field of otology to a new potential biomarker candidate for the future possible early diagnosis of hearing loss in patients before their condition becomes severe.”

“The collaboration of Sensorion with UConn Health’s Division of Otolaryngology has resulted in the discovery of a potentially vital biomarker for the early diagnosis of hearing loss,” said Nawal Ouzren, Chief Executive Officer of Sensorion. “As with many diseases, the earlier clinicians can diagnose a disease, the better our chances for effective intervention. Sensorion intends to integrate measuring prestin in the clinical trial of its lead compound SENS-401.”

The oral presentation, “Noise-Induced Trauma Produces a Temporal Pattern of Change in Serum Levels of the Outer Hair Cell Biomarker Prestin,” was presented at COSM. The major annual scientific event’s mission is to bring together ENT societies for the purpose of spreading and exchanging the latest clinical and basic scientific research.

About SENS-401

SENS-401, R-azasetron besylate, is a drug candidate that aims to protect and preserve inner ear tissue when lesions are present that can cause progressive or sequelar hearing impediments. A small molecule that can be taken orally or via an injection, SENS-401 has received Orphan Drug Designation in Europe for the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), and Orphan Drug Designation from the US FDA for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric population.

Source: Sensorion, UConn Health