Researchers ‘Reprogram’ Mature Inner Ear Cells to Regenerate

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Seems somebody new “discovers” how to regrow these cells every 6-12 months.

It’s certainly great to see this sort of news, but I’m always disappointed that it never seems to progress beyond the discovery phase. I’m optimistic they’ll crack the code eventually, but have a feeling it won’t be in my lifetime (and I’m only 43).

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Someone on another group communicated with the lead researcher. This was his reply, reproduced with his permission:

Thank you for your interest in our work and for your questions. Here are the general information I can provide which I hope will be some help to you.

Our work is done in animal model, and we want to find drug-like molecules to restore hearing in animals first before we can contemplate to move to human. From current evidence our approach should be able to regenerate both inner and outer hair cells, which is something we are truly excited about. Also regeneration shouldn’t be too dependent on when the damage occurred, suggesting even for people with hearing loss for a long term it could still work to a degree. Further new hair cells can form connections with neurons, which can be used for direct repair and more importantly it may allow to identify important molecules that can help to re-establish neuron-hair cell connections.

When will it happen in humans? We honestly don’t know. If our and other work is any indication, the discovery is accelerating that can only speed up the time to reach clinic. My sincere hope is to have some type of medications within a decade to treat some forms of hearing loss.

We are truly excited about the progress we made and are working very hard to move forward as fast as we can.

With best wishes,
Zheng-Yi

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Two treatments in clinical trials at the moment. Audion/Regain should report on their just-completed phase 2 trial in March or April. Frequency Therapeutics have just started their phase 2a. It’s not quite true to say it never progresses beyond the pure science. When you’re really hoping for a treatment it seems painfully slow.

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LOL! So it does! I also read about the trials and successes with excitement and HOPE! I need a toupee’s worth of hair in EACH ear, being born bald as an egg in both ears.

The fact that age would not matter is fabulous! Now, to extend the trial from the lowly mouse to ME! I volunteer! What have I got to lose? I only have “skin” left in the game right now. :neutral_face:

One of the better articles on this research.