Hearing Loss Facts

Epidemiology of Hearing

Hearing loss is a serious problem worldwide

  • 48 million people in the U.S. have some degree hearing loss

  • 278 million (2%) worldwide have disabling hearing loss

  • 10-20% patients treated with aminoglycoside antibiotics develop hearing loss

  • 60-80% treated with anti-cancer drug cisplatin develop hearing loss

  • 60% recent U.S. war veterans suffer hearing loss

  • 3:1000 children are born deaf or hard-of-hearing

  • 50:1000 ICU babies have serious hearing loss

There is currently NO available drug that protects against any form of hearing loss


Hearing Loss and Balance Disorders Result from Damage to Hair Cells

  • Hair cells are the sensory receptors of the inner ear used to detect sound and perceive bodily motion for balance.

  • There is a direct relationship between hair cell loss and hearing loss and/or balance problems

  • Humans start with only ~15,000 hair cells in each cochlea.

  • When hair cells are lost due to mutation, disease, injury, or exposure to environmental toxins, they are not replaced.

Hair cells do not regenerate in mammals

Aminoglycosides Use

Aminoglycoside antibiotics (AGs) are some of the earliest and most effective antibiotics. They continue to be used worldwide to treat a variety of life threatening bacterial infections including; pulmonary infections in patients with cystic fibrosis, endocarditis, neonatal septicemia, pseudomonas respiratory infections, and multiple drug resistant tuberculosis, among others. However, AG use is associated with ototoxicity that results in some level of permanent hearing loss in as many as 20 percent of the two-to-four million individuals treated with parenteral AGs annually. This serious liability has clearly limited the therapeutic utility of this important class of antibiotics.

Despite this limitation, based on data provided by IMS Health, there are still more than 300 million patient-days of parenteral AGs given worldwide each year.


Annual Doses Parenteral Aminoglycosides

United States


Rest of Developed World


Rest of World


Total Annual Doses


The availability of an adjunct therapy to protect against the ototoxic side effect of AGs would allow AGs to be used worldwide in more cases as a first-line therapy and to treat additional infections where currently they are avoided. We estimate the current market potential for our product could exceed $475 million per year and would grow as AGs become the treatment of choice for additional serious bacterial infections.