Focus will be on small molecules that can regenerate the lost inner hair cells.

Sanofi entered into a two-year research collaboration with Audion Therapeutics to develop treatments for hearing loss. The companies say that they will optimize small molecules by using a regenerative medicine approach.

The work will utilize technology developed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory by investigator and Audion co-founder Albert Edge, Ph.D. Under terms of the agreement, Sanofi has an option to license technology rights from Audion related to research conducted under the collaboration.

Audion says it has gathered detailed knowledge of inner ear molecular biology to enable the development of drugs that can regenerate the lost hair cells and potentially restore a level of hearing. The firm is developing an IP portfolio that encompasses new molecules, delivery systems, and drug discovery tools for hearing and hearing loss research.

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