A group of members on TinnitusTalk have asked me to write a message of awareness on the pre-clinical trial compound SF0034 - a compound by SciFluor Life Sciences and which may have the ability to treat tinnitus. In order to write such a message of awareness, I will need to go back to around this time last year - the 29th of November, 2014 to be exact - when I received an e-mail from the well known tinnitus researcher, Prof. Tzounopoulos. The response from him was part of a series of responses I received from key individuals within the field of tinnitus research as a consequence of my outreach in order to obtain the pharmacological mechanism of action of Retigabine in relation to tinnitus. This was all part of the early work which was later to become known as the "Team Trobalt" initiative. Prof. Tzounopoulos was unfortunately not able to help with the MoA, but his response did nevertheless contain a surprise - "an unexpected and positive development" one could say: At the time, I had no idea that the "activator" he was referring to was SF0034 - a compound which is part of the clinical trial programme of SciFluor Life Sciences - and - which is more potent and less toxic than Retigabine (for the readers who are unaware: SF0034 is a derivative of Retigabine - meaning they are chemically similar). Indeed, the manuscript Prof. Tzounopoulos referred to in his e-mail was released earlier on this summer - the link can be found below this message. But let's go back just one step: back to the beginning of the period just before Team Trobalt was formed. Team Trobalt had intentions - on behalf of the tinnitus community - to attempt to prove in a clinical setting the beneficial results that have been observed by some members (here on the forum) who had been taking Retigabine. For that task we needed the help of professionals within the tinnitus community. A natural place to start would be the tinnitus organizations: surely they would have a self-interest in pursuing such an avenue, right? Well, let us just say that some of us have become wiser since then. Indeed, a clue to this is that the people who actually ended up helping us were researchers from the Tinnitus Research Initiative (TRI) - a link to their recent manuscript will follow below this message. Another entity that should have a self-interest in tackling tinnitus would be the US government. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, disability payments related to tinnitus is expected amount to some three billion dollars annually by 2017 (more than any other veteran disability in fact). Suppose just one percent of that amount - i.e. 30 million dollars - had been put aside every year, for ten years back in time, there would now be an accumulated 300 million dollars: money which could be have been spent on research. Looking at it from that angle is of course a very conservative one. The real way to address it is to say: even if we were to put aside ten times that amount every year for 10 years - i.e. 10 x 300 million dollars - with the knowledge that a cure could be found, we would then be saving ourselves more than three billion dollars each and every year going forward by 2017 (in rough terms). Put in very simplistic terms: there should be a much higher self-incentive for governments to find a cure for tinnitus. Because... it pays off! Earlier this year, we saw the termination of the QUIET-1 study by Autifony Therapeutics. A real blow to the tinnitus community. There is however another pharma company which is still present: SciFluor Life Science with their SF0034 compound. It is unclear to me if SF0034 will be trialed and indeed marketed for tinnitus. However, company material from SciFluor Life Sciences suggest that tinnitus may be in scope: People reading this may wonder why I have titled my post "Missed Opportunities" - the answer will come as a conclusion to this message. Back in 2004, a patent paper was released on Retigabine. On page 3, item  it was noted that Retigabine may have potential to treat tinnitus. Now that's 11 years ago...! How do governments, tinnitus organizations, doctors, researchers, and so on "waste" some 10 years? Of course they didn't entirely - we are seeing signs of progress, but, as Team Trobalt have shown during the span of one year, and with very very limited resources, so much more could have been achieved! Feel free to rate, share or comment on Facebook: Lastly, best wishes to everyone for 2016. attheedgeofscience 29/DEC/2015. Important Links: US Government Spending on Tinnitus: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113hrpt247/html/CRPT-113hrpt247.htm Research Paper on SF0034: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26063916 Research Paper by TRI: www.researchgate.net/publication/284728150_Potassium_channels_as_promising_new_targets_for_pharmacologic_treatment_of_tinnitus_Can_internet-based_crowd_sensing_initiated_by_patients_speed_up_the_transition_from_bench_to_bedside Patent Paper on Retigabine (from 2004) - see attachment file named "EP14077682A (Retigabine).pdf"