BASEL, Switzerland, April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
At the Sachs CEO forum in Zuerich, Strekin AG announced the launch of a Phase 2 clinical study of its lead drug candidate, STR001, to preserve residual hearing in patients undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) surgery. This large, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 study is currently recruiting patients in Germany and France. STR001 is administered directly into the middle ear at the time of surgery. "Despite advances in cochlear implant technology, a risk of CI surgery is the loss of residual hearing. Therapies, such as STR001, that have the potential to prevent this undesired effect, could be very beneficial to patients," said Prof Arneborg Ernst (UKB Berlin), the Clinical Lead Investigator of the trial.
"We are very excited to have begun enrolling patients in our phase 2 study in CI," remarked Alexander Bausch, Strekin's Chief Executive Officer and founder. "The decision to undergo elective surgery to receive a cochlear implant is a very personal one, both for patients and their families. The fear of losing residual hearing is one that we believe we can alleviate with STR001. STR001 has shown promising results in preclinical studies, and we expect the phase 2 in CI to be a key step toward development of an important therapeutic," he added.
The active principle of STR001 is a drug with many years of safe and effective use as an oral therapy. In preclinical studies, STR001 provided significant protection of auditory hair cells of the inner ear in models of hearing loss. Hair cells are responsible for converting airborne sound to electrical signals to the brain and are commonly lost or dysfunctional in many types of hearing loss. Strekin has obtained exclusive worldwide rights to a patent covering the use and route of administration of STR001 as a treatment for hearing loss.
Strekin is a privately held clinical-stage Life Sciences company located in Basel, Switzerland. Strekin aims to discover the untapped therapeutic potential of existing drugs for new indications to transform the lives of patients. Strekin is led by an experienced team with a strong track-record in research and successful clinical development of novel drugs. Strekin is sufficiently funded to complete the phase 2 study of STR001 and to prepare further clinical development with the support of investors or partners.
About hearing loss
According to the World Health Organization, 642 million people around the world today suffer from disabling hearing loss. Of these, 181 million are children. Daily activities that most people take for granted, like having a conversation, enjoying music, and advancing in the workplace, are difficult or impossible for individuals suffering from hearing loss. The occurrence of sensorineural hearing loss is predicted to rise in the future due to increasing exposure to noise and aging of populations. Hearing impairment has become a major global health issue with profound societal and economic impact. With no approved pharmaceutical therapies available today, there is renewed urgency to develop effective treatments for hearing loss.
CEO, Strekin AG