THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP
In January 2015, I read a New York Times article by Andrew Pollack entitled “Ear Ailments are New Focus for Drugs from Vertigo to Tinnitus”. Since that day in January of 2015, I have personally interviewed over 25 experts in the hearing loss field (Key Opinion Leaders), profiled over 21 companies involved in developing hearing loss therapies, established relationships with hearing loss foundations, attended my first scientific conference ARO (Association for Research in Otolaryngology) and created this blog on Linked-In called “Dispatches from the Hearing Loss Space”.
As a result of my many interviews, meetings, conferences, scientific articles read and the support I have received from the scientific community (especially Dr. Larry Lustig), I move to the next logical step. Create a company dedicated to developing therapies for those with hearing loss. That company is “Rescue Hearing Inc.”.
THE RESCUE HEARING INC VISION & MISSIONS
The Rescue Hearing Inc (RHI) vision is to “Eliminate Hearing Loss as a Chronic Condition”
RHI has assembled a group of visionary, internationally recognized physicians, scientists and bio engineers who share a common passion for developing therapies for humans suffering from hearing loss. The team is developing therapeutic and diagnostic platforms that will address the most difficult of hearing loss indications.
To realize its vision the RHI team will focus on 3 specific missions:
- Develop therapies for congenital, non-congenital, syndromic and non-syndromic hearing loss
- Develop and refine diagnostic tools to confirm individual causes of hearing loss
- Develop real time imaging of human hair cells In Vivo
The RHI team will utilize cutting edge scientific tools such as: gene therapy, stem cells, anti-sense oligonucleotides, and small molecules to develop therapies and diagnostics in the laboratory and bring them into human clinical trials.
THE RESCUE HEARING SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD (SAB)
Lawrence R. Lustig, MD
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Howard W. Smith Professor of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery
Chair, Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery
Expertise: PI in hearing loss clinical trial (gene therapy), practicing otolaryngologist and surgeon treating adults and children, one of the nation’s leading experts in hearing loss therapy, SBIR / STTR grant funding, writing and review.
Xue Zhong Liu, MD, PhD, FACS
University of Miami (Coral Gables, Fl)
Leonard M. Miller Professor of Otolaryngology, Human Genetics, Pediatrics, and Biochemistry
Otolaryngology Vice Chairman of Research
Director, Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders
Director of Miami Otogenetic Program
Expertise: Practicing otolaryngologist and surgeon treating adults and children, one of the nation’s leading experts in genetic causes of hearing loss, operates lab dedicated to developing genetic therapies for hearing loss, development of transgenic mouse colonies for hearing loss research, SBIR / STTR grant funding, writing and review.
Zheng-Yi Chen, D.Phil.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary- Associate Scientist
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Harvard Medical School
Expertise: Operates lab dedicated to developing genetic therapies for hearing loss, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, AAV vector and gene therapy conjugation, combining protein delivery and genome editing as treatment for genetic hearing loss, development of transgenic mouse colonies for hearing loss research, SBIR / STTR grant funding, writing and review.
Robert D. Frisina, PhD
University of South Florida (Tampa)
Director of the Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research
Director Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Expertise: PI in hearing loss clinical trial (age related hearing loss), SBIR / STTR grant funding, writing and review, operates biomedical engineering lab with focus on the function and disorders of the auditory system, operates acoustic chambers to test hearing in animal research models, cochlear cell line testing, formulation of drug delivery systems to the cochlea.
Victoria Sanchez-Williams, AuD, PhD
University of South Florida, Tampa
Clinical / Research Audiologist
Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A/F-AAA
Expertise: Patient selection for human clinical trials for hearing loss, ongoing monitoring and testing of patients involved in hearing loss clinical trials.
In the coming weeks there will be an RHI website with more details. As with any CEO / Founder, my primary function is to raise operating capital. My goal is to raise between $200K and 300K to begin our work in mouse. I’ll be leveraging any and all potential sources of seed capital including: my NYC entrepreneurial ecosystem contacts, universities, foundations, VC / PE investment firms and parents of children with congenital and / or progressive hearing loss, et al.
The longest of journeys begins with the first step. The first step has been taken.