Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RNID going to Chicago in May 2010 for BIO Conference

From their stated trip to Chicago, I gathered RNID is now marketing aggressively their merchandise (stem cell therapy), which indicates they are pretty confident and certain their merchandise works. They probably have some answers too , to some of the problem issues raised in Rivolta's article. As a boss will tell his contractors, come to me with a solution and not a problem. Let's hope they too come home with US $ 200m deal , just like GenVec with their gene therapy , and then they can really push their merchandise out faster to the supermarket for ENTs and from there, to us consumers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mr Microbiology's very informative piece on Dr Rivolta's work

I got to correspond with a very knowledgeable Microbiologist who hails from NZ.

This is his take on Dr Rivolta's work which produced a 25dB improvement from 6 animal models using stem cells.

"It is very good to see this news and its now proof of conciept that stem cells can be used to intergrate into the cochlear inner ear and become functional.A barrier for this type of therapy was considering that the original cells hensen , pillar , dieter , support and remaining sensory hair cells are all tightly packed together in a strictly organised fashion kind of like tiles on a floor.Getting new cells (stem) to intergrate and organise correctly is an important accomplishment.Its like fitting a new tile into an already complete floor.These must become fucntional hair cells if they are improving hearing by 25db which is great.They downfall of this research is that the cells used are embryonic stem cells , not native cells of the recipient or person recieving..This can cause the organism to have an immune response to the cells and adverse effects.Also ,stem cells can and do form tumors this problem is a statistical one at present.The fact the animal models hearing has survived several weeks is encouraging.I think it will be a race between stem cells and regenerative gene therapy but believe we will see gene therapy hit clinical trials first.Probably one day the two therapies will be combined to produce near perfect hearing.Genvec has recently publicised that that they are no longer continuing with there TNF anti-cancer study because of weak results for pancreatic cancer.Sad to see this but there is one positive in this outcome and that is they now are intesifying their resources into the hearing loss program with Novartis and there are talks of a clinical trail.The genvec program is targeting age related hearing loss amonst other forms.Its stated on there website.It means Genvec intends to invent a treatment without a window period.The hair cells are required for hearing complete their task with the help off support cells that nourish and support metabolism.They are connected to hair cells and can also mechanically influence hair cell sensitivity.It is the support cells that are the targetadenovirus transported ahoh gene therapy.These cells transdifferentiate into hair cells.Take hair cell form when expressing the atoh gene making healthy functional hair cells.There are a few downfalls of gene therapy for regeneration of the inner ear.The problem is 10 days after haircells are damaged and die (noise / medication) the support cells that are needed to change start to die or change their cell form making the atoh less effective.Some damaged regions of support cells will entirely change to what is called flat epithelium (scar tissue) which atoh has little effect.This is why a 10 day window is a big help for atoh therapy effectiveness.Some hair cells have been found to be unnatural , (ectopic hair cells) that grow in places where hair cells do not normally grow but it is not known if they will assist ear function.If support cells are changed to hair cells what will replaces the support cells afterwards.These things must have been considered by genvec scientists all they would not be considering age related / long term hearing loss.There are also genes that can induce proliferation of support cells which could be of great influence to recovery of the cochlear inner ear.Providing a garden of support cells to grow into hair cells.Hopefully these support cells are being targeted for regeneration as well.The sooner a trial starts the better.Best Regards."

Mr Microbiology very informative piece on Gene Therapy (2)

I came across a Mr Microbiology's (who is a Microbiologist who hails from New Zealand) posts which are very good :

"I have been chasing for more information on the internet again and found some information on the research efforts and goals Genvec has towards a hearing loss treatment with Novartis. ... Transcript (external link, opens new browser window)The most promising parts of this transcript is the talk of treatments moving towards the clinic or a phase 1 trail.They wouldnt say if or when because Novartis now has the rights to the hearing loss programme but the fact that they talking about it is good news.
Mr Microbiology
29 Mar 2010 04:58
hi Mr MThanks for the info. Do you any contact that can throw some light whether the gene therapy is good for long term deafness ? There is some concern that it is only for 10-days' old deafness only
wongtanlim3 at
29 Mar 2010 05:18 (external link, opens new browser window) ... sound.html (external link, opens new browser window)
wongtanlim3 at
29 Mar 2010 05:43
Hi , have a look at this page on genvecs website ; (external link, opens new browser window)All the company information I have seen in regards to Genvecs technology seems to be based on hearing damage that has been in the longer term.They look like they are aiming at this market.Makes sense to because this is where the money will be made.I know there are limitations to atoh therapy in long term hearing loss but maybe genvec has some extra technology that has not been released that allows atoh to work for this type of hearing loss.
Mr Microbiology
29 Mar 2010 06:38
thanksI really hope so also.Do you have hearing loss and T ? How does it occurred ?
wongtanlim3 at
29 Mar 2010 15:00
Hi Wongtanlim3 ,a couple of years ago I had a hearing test through work ( government scheem in New Zealand ).My hearing was perfect 250 to 4000 at 0 db and 4khz to 8khz were actually - 5db both ears.I had never heard of Tinnitus before until I had two weeks of an antibiotic which knocked out a few frequencies of hearing in my left ear.Was a shock when I started to hear a high pitch kettle like sound in my left ear and it didnt go away.The worst thing is when the doc tells you nothing can be done !!!My personal opinion is that Tinnitus is directly correllated with hearing loss.The brain is deprived of neural input at certain frequencies so it compensates by plastic changes and in neuronal activity.Get the hearing back , normalise the brain.So the ultimate cure for my type of T is going to be a hearing treatment not a drug like Neramexane that temporarly suppresses overactive neurons (NMDA Receptor Neurons) but dosent treat the cause to start with.I would still take Neramexane in a heartbeat if it was available here.As for the mystery of people that get T with noramal hearing well thats just it , a mystery.I know that when I have talked to some friends and family about T a surprise was that some of them had noticed sounds in the quiet when going to sleep but only when they looked for it.Even my 13 yr old niece said she heard whistling sounds at night before sleep ,I had to reassure that nothing was wrong ,it dosent bother her now.Did you know that Good human hearing is so sensitive that if it was a few decibels more sensitive people could hear atoms collide ; ... n-gap.html (external link, opens new browser window)Maybe normal hearing sensitivity covers up and drowns out normal natural tinnitus (normal brain auditory activity) the one that everyone is supposed to get in extremely quiet surroundings and when we lose hearing the ability to cover this natural tinnitus signal is lost.But who knows really just yet , I just want the devils chorus gone out of my head and I think that will be done by restoring hearing !!!
Mr Microbiology
30 Mar 2010 00:30
Mr. Microbiology,You are absolutely wrong. Tinnitus and hearing loss are not co-related. My grandfather has severe hearing loss up to 70-80 db but no tinnitus and I know many people with severe hearing loss but no tinnitus.NMDA receptors in the cochlea of the inner ear is the root cause of the tinnitus originating in the inner ear. AM-101 jab has completely suppressed the tinnitus in Phase I Trial of people with noise induced hearing loss with a time scale of upto 90 days. The big question is that whether it will work for people with chronic tinnitus or not.Ototoxicity has cause your tinnitus not hearing loss.
30 Mar 2010 01:22
hi Mr MicrobiologyI am on the same page as you. I too believe by restoring my hearing (lost suddenly by virus or tiny blood vessel blockage - nobody can be sure), my T will be gone. I just need a simple experiment to prove this : once I wear ear plug and can hear the high frequencies again, I do not hear my T anymore.And I too is of the view that normal ear also hear T. One expert I consulted told me ask anyone to go into a ultra silent room and they come out reporting they can hear all sorts of sounds.Once Rivolta's tests on animals is ok, they will move on to human and we will be home.
wongtanlim3 at
30 Mar 2010 01:47
Superstar , Ototoxicity and hearing loss go one in one.AM101 is a promising drug.It does sound like it works for people with recent damage but how much hearing loss is there afterwards.It neutralises the effects of excessive glutamatein the cochlear nerve soon after damage and so retards the tinnitus signal preventing the brain from centralising and recording Tinnitus which would lead to overactive NMDA receptors in auditory pathways.I have read that the overactivity of the cochlear dies down anyway over time after ear trauma but its the brain that develops tinnitus.It would be interesting to know what the success rate is in people left with a significant hearing loss after treatment.Sudden hearing loss leads to rapid neuronal changes and plasicity in the audiotory cortex and brain.A theory that sudden changes of audiotory input has been studied and may cause the inbalance of excitatory and inhibatory audiotory processes being more towards excessive excitatory pathways causing T.Slow consistant hearing loss may allow the brain to adapt to audiotory change correctly over time preventing T.This may explain why some people dont have T but have hearing loss.Another thing being studied is the loss of neuronal activity and sound processing in the audiotory cortex and brain as people age.This leads to hearing loss even when the mechanics of the ear are adequate to produce the acoustic signals.This also may shine light why there is hearing loss but no T.The brains sound processor is less active.I have found out some of my extended family have T but they also have hearing loss.If you cut the auditory nerve from the brain in tinnitus patients most will continue to have tinnitusThere is no cochlear influence at that time.I read a story about a girls older sister that use to venture to the nightclubs all the time and developed T.The younger sister had seen how her older sister suffered and became so paranoid and obssessed over her own hearing she wore earplugs for weeks.She developed a high ptiched whistle in her ear and was diagnosed with T.She went through 3 months of tinnitus retraining therapy before the T left her.For me I think my T is directly linked to my hearing loss.I have no hearing loss in my right ear and no T.Hearing loss in the left ear and screaming kettle T.My mother has hearing loss but no T so I know where your coming from superstar but at the end of the day statistically hearing loss and tinnitus are very correlated.I am just happy that all avenues for curing tinnitus are being taken especially hearing regeneration !!!Its great to be born in a time with great technology.Not so great to be the one requiring it.
Mr Microbiology
30 Mar 2010 06:37
I have tinnitus in both ears but hearing loss in the left only that was caused by a loud bang next to my left ear. Surprisingly, although my tinnitus in the left ear is higher pitched and so more uncomfortable, the tinnitus in the normal hearing right ear is much louder.
30 Mar 2010 12:16
Hi Mr M.. there was a forum user who has left now who got tinnitus after many years of wearing ear plugs at night to sleep. That sounds very similar to the girl you describe. Her forum nickname was Angiepoos (I think).
30 Mar 2010 14:10
Hey tj , I read the story on a website somewhere about T but cant remember where , tried to find it but couldnt.Anyway I read my last posts and actually found them a bit to "know all" my apologies.T does seem to happen for all sorts of reasons and its not necessarely just hearing loss.I hope only to post valuable information and not let my own opinions get in the way. Best regards to all.
Mr Microbiology
30 Mar 2010 22:58
Mr M I like your posts the most. You are humble, knowledgable and post valuable information. Keep em up. And you too wongtanlim3! Your constant posting of and treatments for hearing loss provides hope and interesting reading.
31 Mar 2010 00:49"

Mr Microbiology very informative piece on Gene Therapy

I came across a Mr Microbiology's (a Microbiologist who hails from New Zealan) posts which are very good :

I have been in contact with someone that is involved in restoration of hearing research.I recieved and email in reply and it sounds like they are in the final stages of planning an application with the FDA for clinical trails.This means hearing restoration is becoming more of a reality every day.
Mr Microbiology
16 Feb 2010 00:13
Who are they? what's the treatment? what company? what country? etc.
16 Feb 2010 00:46
Didn't mean to sound like I was barking orders to answer my questions there, just keen to know more please.
16 Feb 2010 00:51
I would like to enter more details but it would be unfair to the person I have talked to by saying who they are and who they work for.They are very high up in the ranks of their research.They probably dont want to be flooded with emails.Lets just say the company which is doing the research is working at regeneration of hair cells in the cochlear.The main thing is that it is happening and its not just dream anymore but a reality.I feel lucky to be in a time where this is possible.
Mr Microbiology
16 Feb 2010 02:41
Much thanks.As some one said, the time to hear is now !
wongtanlim3 at
16 Feb 2010 02:55
mr micro you never dissapoint with you posts regarding news. Thanks for relaying this info.
16 Feb 2010 03:57
I have had a few ports so here goes.I have been lucky to have been born in a time where this technology has become reality.Somehow I have made it through the worst part of the damage my hearing had to antibiotic therapy.The tinnitus at the start was immense.It is not so bad now.The future is now for every one.Im going to have another port and have a little peace.Peace to everyone !!!
Mr Microbiology
16 Feb 2010 05:49
So, did he give you any kind of time span?Thanks,Nate
16 Feb 2010 17:15
A couple of things he did say ,is that he thinks they will be moving into the clinic soon and that the final stages of planning for a FDA submission are underway.That was about as specific as he got on the time span but it sounded good to me.
Mr Microbiology
17 Feb 2010 03:10
I am hoping there is no window period like 1-week or 10-days for the treatment to work!
wongtanlim3 at
17 Feb 2010 04:12
I think that this story is not true. If somebody was really going to clinical trials then they certainly would not keep it top secret. It would have been in the ReNeuron, Geron and all the others involved in regenerative medicine.
17 Feb 2010 13:09
Mr M,Could I have your thoughts on LipoFlavonoid?. It's been sold over 30 years in the US for T.I still take Lipoflavonoid every day. Its:3 capsultes= Vit C, 300 mg, Vit B1. 1 mg, Vit B2. 3 mg. Niacin. 10 mg, Vit B5. 1 mg, V B12. 5 mg, Calcium Panthotenate, 5mg, Dicalcium Phosphate 87 mg, Choline, 334 mg, Bioflavonoids: 600 mg, Inositol, 334 mg
17 Feb 2010 15:17
To the poster ( I think that this story is untrue ).For a start it is not a story.Why would I post such things about this if it were unture.To get plessure from getting peoples hopes up ?That would make no sense especially when I suffer just the same id be fooling myself.Please take another look at my posts.I have never said anyone is going to be in a clinical trail but that I was told that the final stages of planning for a FDA submission were being completed and that he thinks the technology will be moving into the clinic soon.That means the FDA still has to approve the trial which I hope they do when they get the application.Also I never said it was top secret.Out of total respect for the person that gave me this information I did not want to say who they were or who thay work for.This is to prevent him being flooded with emails by people wanting to know if its true.Im sure you can understand that.Im sure when the FDA submission is filed the presswill be all over it.Last thing said ,it is totally true all I have said !!!
Mr Microbiology
17 Feb 2010 21:19
Apologies Mr Microbiology. I should have read your first post more carefully and you make some good points in your last post.Thank you for passing on your information.
17 Feb 2010 21:37
Apologies Mr Microbiology. I should have read your first post more carefully and you make some good points in your last post.Thank you for passing on your information.
17 Feb 2010 21:46
Mr. M,Could you at least tell us in what form it is in...stem cell, regeneration, surgical......?Thanks,Nate
17 Feb 2010 21:55
To ( I think this story is untrue ).No worries you do not need to apologise.I know how everyone wants to know more , I am the same I want to know more about it to.To ( Nate ).The form will be in adenovector technology.A harmless or non pathogenic virus is used to transport a regenerative gene to inner ear cells so they can differentiate into hair cells.
Mr Microbiology
17 Feb 2010 22:21
Phillipa ,I think what you have is a good multivitamin tablet with some bioflavonoids in the mix.The vitamins are good to preserve inner ear function but for tinnitus im not sure if they would make much of a difference.The Bioflavonoids are good at thinning the blood and so increase circulation to the inner ear.This may improve hearing slightly and by doing so reduce T.Be careful when taking any other blood thinning medication ,you dont want blood to be thinned to much.Maybe Magnesium will be useful daily as it can have a antagonistic effect on NMDA receptors in the brain.Slows down overactivity.The NMDA receptor seem to have a role in tinnitus.
Mr Microbiology
17 Feb 2010 22:30
Hi Mr MicrobiologyPlease excuse my ignorance but Id be very grateful if you would be able to shed some light on a few questions I have.1) Do you know if there is any evidence that the stem cells that reside in the inner ear are able to differentiate into hair cells that respond across the entire frequency range of human hearing? I have high frequency (>6kHz) losses. This is why I ask.2) Why can the gene not be directly (locally) administered into the ear by intratympanic injection?Many thanks.
18 Feb 2010 12:07
Thanks Mr M. I swear taking the LipoFlavonoid is helping to reduce the noise. Funnily enough, the 'prophet' and seer Edgar Cayce said T was down to poor circulation in the ears ,and he recommended craniosacral therapy and steam baths, and I have indeed found both helpful.How much Magnesium do you think I should take?And I really appreciate you keeping us up to date with the cell stem info and answering our questions about it.
18 Feb 2010 14:45
Very interesting stuff, thanks for posting. I recently attended a seminar at the Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital in London and there making breakthroughs there aswell. I'd be interested to see what there doing, at this point in time implanting cells directly into the cochlea is very difficult because of scar tissue. In response to Mr. M, i don't know if stem cells would have the desired effect your thinking of. I'm not sure if they would differentiate, however even if they did they could not implant themselves into the organ of corti (sensory part of the inner ear). Even if this were possible or done manually by surgery there is still the problem of tonotopy. When cells die inside the cochlea the associated nerves move away and attach to other fuctional hair cells near by. If a new hair cell were to be implanted there is no way of knowing wether the correct nerve fibers would reassociate (if at all). In other words if a cell were to be implanted in a 6235kHz section, nerve fibers from 6500kHz or even higher may associate, causing problems.
Student Audiologist
18 Feb 2010 19:53
What if you have No Cochlear ? just a question
18 Feb 2010 22:14
To (S.D.).A scientist named Stefan Heller had discovered a small amount of stem cells that reside in the ear cochlear these are pluripotent adult stem cells and they have the latent potential for regeneration of cochlear tissue.Everyone has adult stem cells in the body that regenerate different organs and they often deplete with age.The problem with inner ear stem cells is they have lost there ability to regenerate the inner ear.They need to be switched on for this.This is a completely different avenue of research than gene therapy or by another method of delivering stem cells for therapeutic effect (Dr Marcelo Rivolta).Gene therapy is a method of inducing hair cells in the Cochlear from support cells & hopefully epithelium cells.Current research from what I have researched is that the frequency range of recovery is linear or across the range of frequencies to a degree and correlating to damage and incomplete.So not quite normal hearing in animal models tested.The therapy could fix 6khz to a degree if it is successful I would think.It is being developed with a adenovector virus that is specific to certain cells the ones needing to be repaired.This is the challenging part ,to get the virus to transfer the regenerative gene to the correct cells.The therapy (adenovector virus) I would imagine will be delivered directly to the cochlear by intratympanic injection.This method is most important to prevent systemic or whole body exposure to the virus (cochlear is well quite isolated from the rest of body) , so to prevent a growth gene being delivered to other parts of the body.Advancements are being made in this method so that fragile cochlear cells are not damaged when injection is performed (injection techniques / smaller volumes of med / more efficient adenovectorparticles or virus ).Hope thats of help.
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 05:00
To (Philipa) , I take 600mg Magnesium Chelate a day.Easily absorbed by the body.Bioavailabilty.Provides about 100mg elemental magnesium.Cheers.
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 05:10
To (student audiologist).The method of cochlear repair you have specified (stem cell) is different to the method I am referring to in this thread.Stem cells I agree would have a difficult time intergrating in scar tissue or the flat epithelium of the cochlear (when the support cells have degraded).The method im referring to regards a gene being implemented into cells of the cochear via virus adenovector to induce hair cell differiation.There has been research to show that nerve fibres will move towards a new functional hair / support cell when it has been regenerated.This shows that a chemical signal from the newly formed cells seems to attract nerve fibres.As to frequency and brain response to that frequency.From what I have researched ,somehow the brain reconfigurates and this is shown in animal models with this therapy.Cheers.
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 05:40
hi Mr MicrobiologyI came across some writing that suggest the US is collaborating with a hospital in China Beijing using Math1/Atoh1 for treatment of hearing loss. It is in the research stage.While this is good news , with US and China now jointly researching into gene therapy, however they seem to suggest there is a limited window period of 10 days. Did your source said their coming treatrment has such a limited period ?See : (external link, opens new browser window)
wongtanlim3 at
19 Feb 2010 07:01
Hi (pompeyfc)No cochlear means this therapy would not work.They would need to regrow one and that is a part of the future.It will take a little longer than replacing hair cells but one day ! Scientists are trying to grow human organs from stem cells now so it is not fantasy that a cochlear could possibly be created in the same way.Then you need a good surgeon to transplant it in.Hi wongtamlim.The article you have metioned is for research for the damage done to hair cells causing them to lose their stereocilia (hairs) and come close to cell death ( Apoptosis ).The math1 gene invigorates the hair cells and causes them to grow back their stereocilia so long as the problem is isolated only to loss of hair cells.The research im referring to causes support / ( epithelium ? ) cells in the cochlear to differentiate into hair cells to replace hair cells gone (Gene Therapy)The research sounds like improvements so far are best with vestibular (balance) systems ,the hair cells in this area seem to be more easily replaced.Im sorry I cannot tell you much more.I would like to get more information if at all possible.I will try sometime soon.Cheers.
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 09:07
Correction to above Post.Think I will proof read my posts from now on anyway =Hi wongtamlim.The article you have metioned is for research for the damage done to hair cells causing them to lose their stereocilia (hairs) and come close to cell death ( Apoptosis ).The math1 gene invigorates the hair cells and causes them to grow back their stereocilia and prevents them from hair cell death.
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 09:21
hi Mr MicrobiologyMuch thanks for the reply.
wongtanlim3 at
19 Feb 2010 11:39
HelloSo if i can make a conclusion there is no talking about a window period? So tinnitus sufferers having tinnitus "due to haircell death" for 1year, 10years, 20years,.. would be able to receive the treatment? Im sorry if u answered this before but my english is not that well and it was hard for me to subtract this information from the above written. Regards and thankyou for keepin us updated about this intresting mather!
19 Feb 2010 13:50
Thanks Mr M for info about Magnesium Chelate.. What other supplements are you taking, and do you think it helps your T?
19 Feb 2010 14:37
Thanks Mr. Microbiology. Much appreciated. Btw have you seen Stefan Heller's YouTube video? (external link, opens new browser window)I expect you know all this already, but it's a nice presentation nonetheless.
19 Feb 2010 14:47
I could not be 100% sure whether what they are planning for in a FDA submission is for long term hearing loss or short term.The research is aimed at a market where people already have hearing loss so I would imagine that the technology he was talking about is for long termers. .
Mr Microbiology
19 Feb 2010 23:15
I dont think there is a window period as the research is aimed at the a market where hearing loss has already occurred.
Mr Microbiology
20 Feb 2010 00:38"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exciting Updates on hearing loss and Tinnitus

Some really exciting updates on treatment for hearing loss (using stem cell) and Tinnitus.

See :

Folks who are suffering need not wait for too long now!

" ...
Stem cells are cells that can be grown in the
lab and have the potential to turn into many
different types of cell.
Dr Marcelo Rivolta at Sheffield University, UK,
is exploring the possibility of using stem cells
to replace the damaged cells within our ears.
In previous research, funded by RNID, Dr
Rivolta discovered how to grow ‘auditory stem
cells’ in the lab and how to coerce these cells
into cell types found in the inner ear. He is now
focusing on finding out whether these auditory
stem cells could be used to restore hearing in
six models of deafness.
Initial results are very promising, with all six
models showing that the cells transplanted
into the ear developed into the correct type
of cell. In this case, the team had ‘told’ the
stem cell to turn into a hearing nerve cell. After
several weeks, the cells were still in good
condition and had started to grow towards the
right location. Even more promising is the fact
that the models showed a 25dB improvement
in their hearing thresholds, indicating that
this early research is a step in the right
direction towards achieving the ultimate goal –
reversing hearing loss."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cells (for inner ear treatment) for sale

Scientists who need cells for experiments to treat inner ear deafness can now buy them off the shelf:

See :