9 January 2020
Today, the charity Action on Hearing Loss and Medicines Discovery Catapult announce the launch of the Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate, a unique collaboration to accelerate the much-needed development of treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.
Hearing loss affects almost half a billion people globally, with almost 12 million people in the UK impacted1. Despite the vast number of people affected, there are no registered pharmaceutical treatments for hearing loss or tinnitus. Recent scientific developments in the understanding of the biology underlying hearing loss are beginning to address this issue. The opportunity to advance treatments for patients is now accelerating as never before.
The Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate will connect researchers and companies to the vital expertise and infrastructure needed to fast-track the development of hearing therapeutics. For companies new to the field, or academic groups with limited experience of drug discovery and clinical development, the Syndicate brings together the relevant expertise to allow them to rapidly connect with the specific support they need to drive the development of new hearing therapeutics.
The Syndicate will work in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through its Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) with leading academic expertise in hearing research from University College London Hospitals BRC, Nottingham BRC and Manchester BRC, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.
Dr Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss, says: “People with hearing loss tell us that being able to hear well would transform their lives. Our initiative will help bring life-changing treatments to people with hearing loss and tinnitus faster.”
Dr Alessandra Gaeta, Syndicates Programme Director at Medicines Discovery Catapult, says: “The Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate brings together partners that provide unique knowledge, expertise and specialised networks to accelerate research in hearing therapeutics. We are motivated to support innovators through their journey of bringing new therapeutics to the clinic in this area of unmet need. We encourage all those interested to get in touch.”
To connect with the Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate, or to find out more, please visit mdc.link/hearsyn.
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Notes to editors
Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people living with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.
Medicines Discovery Catapult
Medicines Discovery Catapult is a national facility connecting the UK community to accelerate innovative drug discovery. We provide unique scientific capabilities and act as a gateway to UK resources and expertise, supporting UK SMEs to drive the development and industrialisation of new approaches for the discovery of new medicines.
By validating new ways of discovering medicines and driving key talent and expertise across the sector, we will support the UK life sciences industry, SMEs and innovators to deliver growth for the UK economy and maintain the UK’s heritage position as a global leader in medicines R&D.
Ultimately, new industrialised technologies are vital for delivering new medicines to patients, faster.
The National Institute for Health Research
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:
- Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
- Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
- Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
- Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
- Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy
The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With more than 200 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit ct.catapult.org.uk or visit http://www.gov.uk/innovate-uk.