The drug was codeveloped by OKC-based Autigen, a subsidiary of Otologic. Dr. Elaine Hamm is president of both.
“Our drug works to combat hearing loss caused by a loss of cells in the cochlea called ‘inner hair cells.’” Hamm said. “Previously, once you lost those, they wouldn’t grow back. Our drug causes them to grow back.”
Boehringer Ingelheim intends to take the drug through the testing process with the aim of bringing it to market. In preclinical models, the scientific team led by Drs. Xiaoping Du, Matthew West and Richard Kopke has regenerated these sensory hair cells.