Boehringer Ingelheim Collaborates with China Southeast University on Hearing Loss

December 2, 2016

Boehringer Ingelheim and China Southeast University announced a joint research collaboration to develop new regenerative treatments for hearing loss.

On Nov. 28, 2016 Boehringer Ingelheim and China Southeast University Institute of Life Sciences announced the start of a joint research project to develop new treatment approaches for hearing loss through regeneration of hair cells from inner ear stem cells. The new collaboration combines the expertise of Professor Renjie Chai, a leader in the field of hearing loss, with Boehringer Ingelheim’s drug discovery and clinical development experience to develop new treatment options for this condition.

The new research collaboration in hearing loss is an initiative of Boehringer Ingelheim’s newly established organization Research Beyond Borders (RBB). It complements a research collaboration with Kyoto University initiated earlier this year that focuses on utilizing findings from hair cell regeneration in birds. Through the collaboration with China Southeast University, Boehringer Ingelheim will investigate key signaling pathways and proteins involved in regeneration in the inner ear to develop a drug discovery strategy to target hair cell regeneration and ultimately address hearing loss via regenerative medicine approaches.

“Through this joint project with Boehringer Ingelheim, we wish to further promote scientific development in the field of hair cell regeneration, and to accelerate the translation of basic science to clinical applications,” Wei Xie, Dean of China Southeast University Institute of Life Sciences said in a statement.  “The current collaboration will demonstrate the regulation mechanism of inner ear stem cells, and we hope to develop insights for targeting the key pathways via small molecule compounds together with Boehringer Ingelheim.”

RBB is one of the pillars of Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D strategy. RBB is currently focusing on the areas of regenerative medicine, the microbiome, and new technologies including gene therapy. The company said it is expanding its activities in Asia and looking for more partnering opportunities.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim