Organizing the Hearing Loss Therapy Space

My interest in the hearing loss space was sparked after reading a January 2015 New York Times article by Andrew Pollack entitled “Ear Ailments are New Focus for Drugs from Vertigo to Tinnitus

After reading the article, I had my “eureka” moment.  The hearing loss space provided me with a personal connection to the science.  My 10 year old son was born with congenital hearing loss and finding a cure for him is what drives me.

Initial Research

In my initial research into the hearing loss market, I found a company called Inception Sciences 3 (IS3).  IS3 is a unique product of the “build-to-buy” deal construct involving Roche, Versant Ventures and IS3.  They are attempting to grow human sensory hearing cells (hair cells) from stem cells.  IS3 is in the cell culture stage.

A Meeting with Scientists from Roche

Based on my interest in the space and IS3, I met with Judith Dunn (VP, Global Head Clinical Development at Roche) and Anirvan Ghosh (Vice President, Global Head, Neuroscience Discovery & Biomarkers at Roche) at the Roche Innovation Center in New York City.

After discussing my research, Judith and Anirvan suggested that I: (1) categorize therapies according to scientific approach and (2) research hearing loss foundations to obtain knowledge on emerging therapies and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders).

Developing a Framework to Understand the Space

I have established 4 categories (or buckets) of therapeutic approaches: Gene Therapy, Small Molecule, Anti-Sense Oligos and Stem Cell.  I now have a framework to organize, analyze and communicate my understanding of the hearing loss space to others.

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