About the Consortium
ProHearing is a biomedical science research and commercialization consortium supported by a three-year grant from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme in Community Health Research investigating technological approaches to combating sensory impairments.
ProHearing is investigating a novel micronutrient-based strategy to prevent hearing impairments; specifically, age-related hearing loss and preservation of residual hearing. Hearing impairment affects 600M people worldwide. It greatly decreases quality of life, particularly in the elderly, and constitutes an unmet health and medical need. Regeneration of sensory auditory hair cells is not available as a medical technology.
ProHearing is investigating a novel strategy based on the development of a new technology, a micronutrient formulation to prevent damage, and perhaps recovery of auditory hair cells. The purpose of ProHearing is to bring a new product to the European Community market derived from this technology.
We, the consortium, intend to conserve hearing, prevent and treat hearing loss as a sensory disease. The target organ is the inner ear. We will validate the human efficacy of a patent-protected special micronutrient dietary supplement. Our aim is preventing damage to, and rejuvenating inner ear sensory cells. Specifically, we intend to improve hearing benefits of cochlear implants and prevent age-related hearing loss (ARHL).
This validation will provide the EU SME Hearing Health Science Europe (HHSE) the basis for immediate, comprehensive exploitation of the technology in commercial and global health markets, under the ‘Soundbites’ trademark. Soundbites will be the first clinically proven treatment of hearing disorders effecting 1 in 12 Europeans and more than half of the elderly, at an extraordinary humanitarian and health care cost. These are first steps in a program of hearing conservation to eliminate deafness.
It is evident that such anticipated impacts derived from ProHearing are not attainable at the level of individual countries. Support by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme is fundamentally crucial. Transnational collaboration and research support is strategically important to addressing the global unmet medical need for hearing impairment therapeutics. Importantly, the ProHearing consortium incorporates previous and current research activities supported by grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).