Very few commercial drug companies focus on hearing disorders. Even fewer focus on tinnitus. Otonomy does both. In this exclusive interview, we took a deep dive with Otonomy’s executives into their drug pipeline.

We spoke to David Weber (PhD), President and CEO, and Alan Foster (PhD), Chief Scientific Officer. They shared their views on what they see as the “renaissance” of hearing research and how there is currently more investor appetite to address hearing issues. We discussed why Otonomy is not only seeking solutions for different kinds of hearing loss, but also tinnitus specifically.

The interview covers each of the company’s drugs in-depth, from its mechanism of action to commercialization plans. Tinnitus drug OTO-313 targets overexcitation of the auditory nerve, which is theorized to cause tinnitus. Which types of tinnitus will benefit remains an open question, but the tinnitus community will no doubt follow the drug’s future with keen interest.

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Skip to: 00:21 Otonomy and the renaissance of hearing science.

There’s been quite a renaissance of the biology of hearing disorders, and so being part of that, thinking about ways we can use that information to develop new drugs to treat hearing loss and tinnitus has been a really good experience.

Skip to: 10:01 Overview of Otonomy’s drug pipeline.

Skip to: 13:22 Why the trial of Otividex for Menière’s failed.

Skip to: 18:50 OTO-313 for early onset (?) tinnitus.

The way that Gacyclidine works as part of OTO-313 is to block the NMDA receptors and prevent that over-activation from happening. And so in that way, we think it prevents the tinnitus and reduces the tinnitus that people experience.

Skip to: 25:44 Which patient groups are eligible for OTO-313?

Skip to: 33:28 How are the effects of OTO-313 measured?

It’s highly encouraging data, very exciting that you could look at a 40% of the population getting improvement on a single administration is quite remarkable.

Skip to: 41:42 Safety of OTO-313.

Skip to: 46:15 OTO-413 for hearing loss caused by cochlear synaptopathy.

Skip to: 70:18 OTO-6XX for hearing loss caused by hair cell damage.

Skip to: 77:11 OTO-825 gene therapy for congenital hearing loss.

Skip to: 81:40 Future focus & getting drugs to market.

I think one of the unique things about Otonomy is our pipeline and the extensiveness of our pipeline.

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Comments (1)
  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW!! I’m bummed OTO-313 might not work for chronic tinnitus, but I’m encouraged by the overall attention to detail by these guys.

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