Hair Cell Regeneration


Some of the readers might be interested in this: a recent MIT graduate has found a way to make hair cells in the cochlea regenerate (this they don’t normally do). He has started a company called Frequency Therapeutics.



Wow. There was also a European research facility that was attempting the same thing. Please keep us posted.



There is more on this in another thread.



There are a few threads on this. Frequency Therapeutics completed a phase 1 (safety) trial in Australia last year. A phase 2 (small-scale efficacy) study is planned for the second half of this year. The ‘recent MIT’ graduate is Will McLean who seems to be at the pointy end of things. The other people involved are some of the biggest names in biotech on the planet. There are never any guarantees but it looks really promising.

The European research is related but not identical. The Frequency Therapeutics approach is to get ‘supporting’ cells to replicate. As they replicate, some will become hair cells. It mimics a process that occurs naturally in other parts of the body. You should end up with more hair cells and a strong population of supporting cells. I think the Regain Hearing approach tries to create hair cells directly, but you may lose supporting cells, which is significant (apparently).



This has been successful in mice for about 2 years but a long way from research and development in humans. At least there is hope

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It’s interesting that the Department of Defense recently awarded a grant to Frequency Therapeutics. They appear to be excited at the potential.

A quote from the CEO of the company: “The DOD’s Hearing and Balance Research Award provides meaningful, peer-reviewed validation as we move toward Phase 2 clinical trials in hearing restoration later this year,” said David Lucchino, President, Co-founder and CEO of Frequency. “With this award, we have the potential to help thousands of men and women in uniform.”

Fingers crossed that these trials go well!



I hope that when they have human trials here, I’ll be able to participate. I think possible my hearing became damaged because I previously owned a Cessna 172, and flew it for years without hearing protection. I know now: my Bad!



I read a report that people who have had the Shingles Vaccine are at risk of hearing loss. I did and I have profound loss afterwards. Could just be a coincident


  1. Do you still have a reference to that report?

  2. Was your vaccination your first (or was it the second/booster/repeat shot now recommended for better shingles protection)?



Do you have source or reference for this? I researched both the old Zostavax and the new Shingix formulas, and nothing in the literature suggests hearing loss as a side effect. I’ve had both.

My hearing loss is from hunting / construction in the 50s - 60s, loud rock concerts 60s - 70s, chemotherapy (Cisplatin) in 2014.

Zostavax - professional and CDC sites

Shingrix - professional and CDC sites

Studies that contradict that rumor.



Hello Dan, fellow pilot. A Mooney was the loudest plane I ever flew. I never wore hearing protection either. I think most of my damage was from hunting though, like a dove shoot where you would go through 2-3 boxes of shells.



Ow. Having been born with a pretty major loss, the last thing I need is for my Round 2 shingles vacc to do the ultimate to me. I am considering skipping it altogether. I know this particular vaccination is more reliable than the one I got at age 60, but even so, I simply can NOT take a chance at losing one shred more hearing.

GOOD NEWS about the hair cell experimentation, which I’d also read on previous threads here. Hey, even if I’m NINETY by the time it comes to market … BRING IT ON. I would love to go out HEARING my heart stop. Or whatever. Just HEARING it.



I mostly flew my 172, but always without ear protection. Many, many hours!



Shingles is far more devastating. I know since quite a few of the people in the senior community where I live suffer from it.

This is from a very extensive medical study to test this theory (i linked it above), there is more evidence of how bad shingles is, than evidence of hearing loss from the vaccine.


A large-scale analysis applying a case-centered method did not detect any association between SSHL and previous receipt of TIV or other vaccines.



^^^^ YiiiiiIIIPES! I guess I’ll leave it up to my doc’s recommendation. I do know that if you don’t treat shingles within 72 hours, it can really take up a happy home in your body. With stress a trigger factor, I would not want to push my luck as a senior, that’s for sure.

Thanks for that tip!

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What is the current way to confirm hair cell damage vs e.g. neural damage? Can they do some high resolution scan to confirm it? I have been hearing impaired since birth and when some 25 years ago doctors studied it, they concluded it is probably due to hair cell damage. I asked if there was some way to confirm it. The reply was that they could cut it open and have a look, but don’t know how to put it back together. I said I am ok with their assumption, no need to check.

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No way of doing it in vivo (hope I got that right) that I’m aware of. The clinical trials are stll relying on audiometry to see if their drugs work.



The REGAIN Project’s clinical trial is coming up to its first anniversary:



There is an even better, more effective shingles vaccine coming along. The “classic” one doesn’t provide total immunity to more than 50% to 60% of the “injectees,” as I recall, but if you take it, it usually reduces the severity of any shingles attack even if you’re not in the lucky totally immune recipient group. The newer vaccine offers something like 95% total protection - the numbers are off the top of my head. Like all new pharmaceuticals, it’s expensive. The old one was a couple hundred bucks and not only do you pay for the vaccine, you pay for the injection at a pharmacy. My doc said my university clinic would do the injection for free if I brought them the vaccine. The trick is that it has to be refrigerated so I found a very large pharmacy supply house near the medical center I go to, picked the vaccine up there, drove 1/2 mile or so to the medical center with the stuff in a foam box with a “chill” bag, and got the physician part of the deal totally covered by Medicare. I don’t remember having any side effects from the injection. :slightly_smiling_face:



Is that the new Shingix compared to the older Zostavax? I posted a bunch of links on these above. I normally have no reaction to vaccines, but the first Shingrix left me bruised, sore and exhausted for four days, the second one three months later was not as bad, but still the soreness and lack of energy for two days. Still worth it and far less effects than the Shingles disease!