GemVax & KAEL said Thursday that GV1001, also known as Riavax, has the potential to treat hearing impairment caused by drugs.
Riavax is a treatment for advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
A Bundang Seoul National University Hospital team, led by Professor Koo Ja-won of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, induced hearing loss in rats by injecting kanamycin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic, and furosemide, a potent diuretic agent. Afterwards, the team measured histologic morphology and hearing loss of cochlear hair cells by dividing the rats into two groups -- the saline-injected placebo group and the GV1001-injected diagnostic group.
As a result, the team discovered that GV1001 lowered damage to cochlear hair cells while reducing hearing loss.
In contrast to previous reports focusing on precautionary methods, the study found a solid substance for acute hearing loss by confirming that the treatment worked on the diagnostic group even after delaying the therapy for three days.
“GV1001’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cell death suppression effects seem to improve hearing loss,” Professor Koo said. “Although GV1001 has been developed as an immunological anti-cancer agent that activates the immune system and attacks cancer cells, additional research on other implications of the drug has been ongoing.”
The study is meaningful as it can offer new therapeutic alternatives to hearing impairments that are difficult to recover once they occur, Koo added.
“Considering that the study confirmed GV1001’s effect on hearing loss, while previously confirming its effects on benign prostatic hyperplasia and Alzheimer's disease, the drug has a strong anti-inflammatory effect similar to steroids,” GemVax & KAEL CEO Song Hyoung-gon said. “The company will continue its research on GV1001’s various effects.”
The results of the study were published in the Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, one of the most influential Neuroscience publications.
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