Prof. Tzounopoulos (University of Pittsburgh)

Discussion in 'Research News' started by attheedgeofscience, Feb 18, 2015.

    1. OnceUponaTime
      Frustrated

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      And what did he said?
       
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    2. reggie green
      Balanced

      reggie green Member

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      He and his team are still working on it but the funding is a problem. We talked for 5 mins, I did not ask him any in-depth questions. From the previous post,for what I have read, he's mainly a lab guy.
       
    3. TuxedoCat
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      @reggie green @OnceUponaTime @IvanRus @valeri @Deamon22

      Good News-

      I emailed Professor Tzounopoulos this morning and inquired about the status of RL-81. In response he sent me the following links and attached bulletin. It appears Professor Tzounopoulos now has the funding he needed from the US Department of Defense to continue the preclinical study of RL-81 as well as another ion channel called HCN. In a separate project Professor Tzounopoulos has formed an interdisciplinary research team to study the heterogeneity of chronic tinnitus.

      https://inside.upmc.com/pitt-researchers-grant-tinnitus/
      http://phrc.pitt.edu/people/thanos-tzounopoulos

      From INSIDE LIFE CHANGING MEDICINE
      November 12, 2018
      • The University of Pittsburgh (The Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Dietrich School of Arts and Science) was awarded a $2Million grant from the US Department of Defense to continue their effort to develop a new treatment for tinnitus.
      • In previous work, also supported by the DoD, Professor Tzoulopoulos and Professor Peter Wipf redesigned retigabine. The new compound was known as RL-81.
      • RL-81 will now undergo further animal and lab testing with the aim of gathering preclinical data before human testing is initiated.
      • In the second part of the newly funded project, the researchers will also look at the role of another kind of ion channel, called HCN, in the prevention of tinnitus.
      From OTOLARYNGOLOGY RESEARCH UPDATE
      Fall 2018
      • Professor Tzounopoulos has assembled a team of multidisciplinary researchers to investigate new models of care for tinnitus. They desire to use a new method of classification of tinnitus using precision medicine. This will help understand the heterogeneity of individuals experiencing tinnitus and what members of each subgroup have in common.
      • Professor Tzounopoulos has also identified the role of free zinc in the auditory cortex for adjusting the responsiveness of the brain to sound.
      Based on this information, I too will be donating to Tinnitus Research at University of Pittsburgh!
      TC
       

      Attached Files:

      Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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    4. EDDTEKK

      EDDTEKK Member

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      Good news :) they should hurry - what my concern is that when they develop a drug the effect can diminish by time. I had the same with carbamazepine :( after 6 months it didn’t work anymore and I had to quit. So there is no guarantee that a drug will work forever. The tinnitus seems to find ways to bypass the drug. Hope they consider this risk.
       
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    5. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      TC thank you very much for tagging me in this post. It’s a very good news.
      I will too donate to his research.

      Did you maybe ask him if he thinks we as sufferers can help in any way (apart from money)?

      No disrespect to other current researchers (the more the merrier) but after personally seeing some improvement from Retigabine I truly believe our best bet will be something that calms down these crazy neurons.

      Fingers crossed!
       
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    6. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Yes that can be devastating!
      But let’s hope for the best!
       
    7. Deamon22

      Deamon22 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

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      @TuxedoCat Thank you very much for the update. Will donate something on christmas. Did he eventually mention where to donate to that the funds go directly to him?:)
       
    8. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

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      Deamon22,

      I did email back to thank Professor Tzounopoulos for the information and to congratulate him on the award. I said we all appreciate his efforts. I also reminded him of the Daniel Ballinger Student Grant available from BTA.

      I will inquire about donating specifically to his research and will let you know.

      TC
       
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    9. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      The challenge, of course, is to "calm down [only] these crazy neurons": we need the other neurons to keep working as unaffected as possible.
       
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    10. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

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      From what little I've read about this research i've learned there are 5 KV receptors but only 2 of them are found on the neurons thought to be responsible for tinnitus. Trobalt affected all 5, but RL-81 is specific for the 2 responsible for tinnitus. It is also more potent so the dose needed should be less than Trobalt. Also, Professor Tzounopoulos has identified a receptor called HCN which he has found is not as active in mice which were exposed to loud noise but did not develop hearing loss. So he has hypothesized that a channel blocker for this receptor may be protective.

      TC
       
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    11. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

      Location:
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      One other thing to keep an eye on is a patent on RL-81. I asked the Professor about this and he did not answer the question. The answer may be in the articles which he sent and I will read more critically for that information. But I have some suspicions that a patent on RL-81 may not be straight forward. However, the fact that the DoD has awarded the grant suggests that the situation is workable even if its not straight forward. TC
       
    12. reggie green
      Balanced

      reggie green Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/08/2001
      OK I am glad DoD gave him money, but that is peanuts compared to what overall budgets get.
       
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    13. spedgas
      Gloomy

      spedgas Member Benefactor

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      This med was in the media nearly two years ago. What happened over all that time? Did lack of funds grind this to a halt?
       
    14. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      In the article it said $2M grant over 3 years!

      Does this mean they will only continue the work they’ve done so far for another 3 years or will this time frame also include some trials on people?
       
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    15. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

      Location:
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      high frequency hearing loss
      Not sure exactly. The project has two parts, Part 1 is about RL-81 and Part 2 is about the new receptor call HCN. I'm willing to email him to ask a couple of questions, but I don't want to inundate him with questions that would require an hour of his time to answer.

      My hunch is that he will take the drug through animal testing to determine a dose, how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated from the body in one or two animal species and to establish a safety profile. If the results of those studies are positive University of Pittsburgh may look for a pharmaceutical company to buy or license it, also the Department of Defense will have an interest in the drug. I've seen mention of a partnership with Allergen a couple of years ago and its not clear what's happened with that. So we can't be sure of what has been discussed as the next step after the animal studies.

      TC
       
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    16. jer

      jer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Does the good professor still need additional funding? If so, did anyone ask him for any DIRECT links to get the funding to him?
       
    17. Hazel
      Dreaming

      Hazel Director Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
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      one-sided hearing loss (of unknown origin)
      Hi there,

      We will be interviewing Prof. Tzounopoulos soon for the Tinnitus Talk Podcast!


      You can find the link where to submit your questions for him here until the 27th of October.

      Cheers,
      Hazel
       
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