SENS-401 (R-azasetron besylate) is effective against severe acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss.
SENS-401 has calcineurin inhibiting properties and attenuates cisplatin-induced hearing loss in a rat model. Cisplatin-induced and acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss share common apoptotic pathways.
The dose–response relationship of SENS-401 (6.6 mg/kg BID, 13.2 mg/kg BID, 26.4 mg/kg QD) and treatment time-window (13.2 mg/kg BID starting 24, 72, and 96 h posttrauma) versus placebo for 28 days were evaluated in a male rat model of severe acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss (120 dB SPL, 2 h) using auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) measures followed by cochlear outer hair cell (OHC) counting with myosin-VIIa immunolabeling.
All SENS-401 doses improved ABR threshold shift and recovery, reaching statistical significance (p < 0.05) for ABR threshold recoveries after 28-days treatment. DPOAE amplitude loss and recovery improved markedly for 13.2 mg/kg BID SENS-401, reaching significance after 14 days (p < 0.05). Significant improvements in ABR threshold shifts/recovery and DPOAE amplitude loss occurred with up to 96-hours delay in initiating SENS-401 (p < 0.05), and in DPOAE amplitude recovery with up to 72-hours delay (p < 0.05). Significantly more surviving OHCs were present after SENS-401 treatment compared with placebo after 24 to 96-hours delay posttrauma, with up to 5.3-fold more cells in the basal cochlea turn.
In vivo data support the otoprotective potential of twice daily oral SENS-401. Improvements in hearing loss recovery make SENS-401 a promising clinical candidate for acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss, including when treatment is not initiated immediately.