Sensorion (FR0012596468 – ALSEN), a biotech company specializing in the treatment of inner ear diseases, announced the publication of a research paper in collaboration with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine regarding prestin, and its relevance and potential clinical use as a biomarker for hearing loss involving sensory hair cell death.

The paper, published in the peer-reviewed monthly journal Hearing Research, found that the outer-hair-cell-specific protein prestin, in circulation, may act as a biomarker for sensory hair cell damage and death. Prestin levels in circulation change after acoustic trauma in a preclinical model of sudden sensorineural hearing loss and the pattern of change is dependent on the severity of injury, with an early rise in prestin levels after noise exposure potentially predictive of permanent hearing loss.

“Thus, an outer hair cell (OHC)-specific circulating biomarker may have both research and clinical applications, such as development of therapeutics and early diagnosis,” said Dr Kourosh Parham, associate professor and director of research in UConn Health’s Division of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery. “These results suggest that there is a temporal pattern of change in serum prestin levels after acute hearing loss that is related to severity of hearing loss. Circulating levels of prestin may be able to act as a surrogate biomarker for hearing loss involving OHC loss.”

Original Paper: Parham K, Sohal M, Petremann M, et al. Noise-induced trauma produces a temporal pattern of change in blood levels of the outer hair cell biomarker prestin. Hearing Research. 2019;371:98-104.

Source: Sensorion, Hearing Research