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.