Hearing loss company Acousia Therapeutics to present data for lead candidates ACOU085 & ACOU082 at ARO 2023 MidWinter Meeting February 11–15

Acousia Therapeutics GmbH, and its partners from the Translational Hearing Research Group at the Tübingen Hearing Research Center (Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tübingen), will present data on its lead candidates — clinical stage ACOU085 and late preclinical stage ACOU082 — in two presentations at the 46th Annual MidWinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Orlando (FL) on February 11–15, 2023.

Small-Molecule Kv7.4 Activator ACOU085 Protects Against Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss and Outer Hair Cell Death in a Guinea Pig Model

ACOU085 is a proprietary small molecule, etiology-agnostic otoprotective drug candidate, expected to finish a first-in-man clinical Phase 1b study by late 2022 using standard transtympanic administration of a slow-release gel formulation. The ACOU085 presentation at the 2023 MidWinter Meeting will focus on preclinical pharmacology data from a guinea pig cisplatin-induced ototoxicity model, which supports the potential of ACOU085 treatment for preventing chemotherapy-induced hearing loss and outer hair cell apoptosis in cancer patients.

ACOU082: A Unique, Systemically Administered Kv7.4 Activator Drug Candidate for the Treatment and Prevention of Age-Related Hearing Loss

ACOU082 is a proprietary small molecule Kv7.4 developed for oral administration with the potential to both acutely enhance natural hearing and preserve hearing capacity against e.g. age-related hearing loss. The ACOU082 presentation focuses on a proof-of-concept study using the senescence-accelerated mouse (SAMP8) model, which demonstrates the ability of chronic, systemic ACOU082 administrations to significantly enhance hearing sensitivity after just short-term treatment. Furthermore, ACOU082 also significantly reduced the progression of age-related hearing loss as measured by ABR threshold shifts and compared to a placebo-treated, vehicle control group.

Kv7.4 channels are strongly expressed in the sensory outer hair cells of the cochlea, where they not only influence outer hair cell amplification and frequency discrimination to maintain hearing function, but also provide homeostatic resistance to deleterious insults like drug-induced ototoxicity, noise exposure, and aging.

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Tim Boelke, M.D.

About Acousia Therapeutics GmbH

Acousia Therapeutics GmbH is a privately held, clinical-stage biotech company based in Tübingen, Germany. The company is dedicated to the identification of small molecules for the effective prevention and treatment of different hearing loss etiologies. Acousia is focused on the development of proprietary drug candidates, which are designed to affect the sensory outer hair cells (OHC) in the cochlea of the inner ear. The unique dual mode of action of its small-molecule Kv7.4 activators combines acute functional OHC enhancement and sustained OHC protection and aims to both enhance and preserve a patient’s natural hearing. Acousia Therapeutics develops drugs for both local and systemic administration.