Old name, new purpose: why we’ve gone back to RNID

2023 Hearing Therapeutics Summit

Talk: Dr Alan C Foster

Drug Discovery and Development Challenges in Hearing Disorders

Dr Alan C Foster, Jobral Consulting

Spurred by the considerable unmet need of hearing disorder sufferers and a renaissance of inner ear biology, the past decade has seen a focus on drug discovery and development in this area producing numerous clinical drug candidates.

However, the majority have not progressed towards regulatory approval, the exception being Pedmark (Fennec Pharmaceuticals), now in use to prevent hearing loss in pediatric oncology. There are numerous challenges for otologic drug development, and I will focus on the past experience at Otonomy, Inc. with programs for hearing loss and the associated conditions of tinnitus and Meniere’s disease.

Effective drug delivery to the inner ear, the need for objective clinical endpoints and the alignment of drug profile to clinical populations are factors that can contribute to successful outcomes. Gathering the collective experience of drug development in the field forms a basis for overcoming challenges to provide effective therapies for hearing disorder patients.

About Dr Alan C Foster

Jobral Consulting, USA

Alan C Foster, Ph.D. is a consultant for drug discovery and development in the fields of neurotology, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Until December 2022 he was Chief Scientific Officer of Otonomy, Inc. and responsible for advancing transtympanically-delivered therapeutics for hearing disorders to clinical proof of concept, including a phase 2 program with BDNF for speech-in-noise difficulties, a phase 2 program with the NMDA receptor antagonist gacyclidine for tinnitus and preclinical validation of an AAV gene therapy for GJB2-mediated genetic hearing loss.

Prior to Otonomy, he served as Vice President of Pharmacology at Allergan and Vice President of Neuroscience at Neurocrine Biosciences. Previously, he held leadership positions at Gensia Pharmaceuticals and Merck. Dr. Foster is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience, and has authored over 150 scientific publications. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, UK.

Satellite event of the 58th Inner Ear Biology Meeting