Hearing loss seems to be an inevitable part of aging, which today, is known to be associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. This week we made it to the UK to have a look at Autifony Therapeutics, a biotech working on new treatments for hearing disorders and CNS diseases.
Mission: Autifony Therapeutics was founded as a spin-off from GlaxoSmithKline to develop new drugs to treat hearing disorders, such as age-related hearing loss, and other CNS disorders, including schizophrenia.
The biotech currently has two assets in its pipeline, which both target the Kv3 ion channels that play a key role in central auditory processing but have also been implicated in other neurological and psychiatric disorders. Autifony is currently testing its lead candidate, AUT00063, in a Phase IIa study as an add-on in patients with cochlear implants.
Comment: Autifony has been backed with more than £20M (€23M) in Series A funding by big name investors like SV Life Sciences. However, the company’s key asset, AUT00063, recently flopped a Phase IIa trial in patients with age-related hearing loss. Now, Autifony is counting on its second candidate, AUT00206, which just got pushed into a Phase Ib trial in patients with schizophrenia.
Images via shutterstock.com / ESB Professional and CC 4.0 / BruceBlaus