Action on Hearing Loss and the Medicines Discovery Catapult have teamed up to launch a new “Hearing Medicines Discovery Syndicate”, a collaboration designed to accelerate the “much-needed development” of treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.

The collaboration will be partnering with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), with academic expertise in hearing research provided University College London Hospitals BRC, Nottingham BRC and Manchester BRC, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

Currently there are no registered pharmaceutical treatments for hearing loss or tinnitus, meaning the problem is an area of high unmet need. Fortunately, in recent years the opportunity to advance treatments for patients is now accelerating as never before.

The organisations say that the new Syndicate aims to connect researchers and companies to the vital expertise and infrastructure needed to fast-track the development of hearing therapeutics, and for companies new to the field, or academic groups with limited experience of drug discovery and clinical development, it 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.

Further, it hopes to “bring together partners that provide unique knowledge, expertise and specialised networks to accelerate research in hearing therapeutics” said Dr Alessandra Gaeta, syndicates programme director at the Discovery Catapult.

“We are motivated to support innovators through their journey of bringing new therapeutics to the clinic in this area of unmet need” she explained, before going on to “encourage all those interested to get in touch.”

Hearing loss affects almost half a billion people globally, with almost 12 million people in the UK impacted.