The Hearing Clinic

UCL work on a cure for hearing loss.

Researchers at University College London, and University College London Hospital have successfully completed a world-first trial of a therapy designed to restore hearing loss.

Image showing man listening

The REGAIN trial was set up to test the effects of a drug called gamma secretase inhibitor LY3056480, which is thought to regenerate functioning sensory hair cells in the inner ear – the vital cells that help to transmit sound to the brain. While the drug didn’t meet the high bar set by the research team of restoring hearing across the group of adults with mild to moderate hearing loss, analysis did show positive changes in hearing tests in some patients.

Trial participants, who were aged between 18 and 80, and had mild to moderate hearing loss, were given three injections of the drug into the ear, through the eardrum. Their hearing was tested in a range of tests before and after receiving the drug.

One test looked at the quietest possible sounds that participants were able to hear. Another test assessed the ability to understand word sounds in background noise. Some 45% of participants could identify some sounds that were at least 10 decibels quieter than they were previously able to hear. This improvement was seen at 6 and 12 weeks after the start of treatment.

Here at The Hearing Clinic, we’re optimistic about this exciting new development, and look forward to learning more about subsequent trials of the drug.

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If you have any questions, or if you’re concerned about your or a family member’s hearing, we’re here to help. Please call our friendly team or email us to find out more.

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