Oral Administration of Clinical Stage Drug Candidate SENS-401 Effectively Reduces Cisplatin-induced Hearing Loss in Rats

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Hypothesis:SENS-401, an oral clinical-stage drug, may reduce cisplatin-induced hearing loss and cochlear damage in an in vivo model.Background:Cisplatin is commonly associated with hearing loss, causing significant learning and behavioral difficulties in the pediatric cancer population, and for which there are currently no clinical solutions. SENS-401 has previously been shown to improve acoustic trauma-induced hearing loss in vivo.Methods:The effect of SENS-401 (R-azasetron besylate) on cisplatin IC50 values was evaluated in a panel of cisplatin-sensitive cell lines (NIH:OVCAR-3, SK-N-AS, NCI-H460, FaDu). Auditory brainstem response and distortion product otoacoustic emission tests were performed in a rat model of cisplatin-induced hearing-loss (8 mg/kg, day 1) at baseline, and after 14 days of SENS-401 (6.6, 13.2, 26.4 mg/kg/d). Cochlear outer hair cells were counted after immunolabeling for myosin-VIIa.Results:Cisplatin cytotoxicity was not impacted by the addition of SENS-401 (up to 10 μM) in any of the cell types evaluated. In vivo, all SENS-401 doses significantly improved auditory brainstem response threshold shift (up to 30 dB) and distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitude loss (up to 19 dB) over placebo. Body weight and survival were not significantly different between rats receiving placebo and those receiving 26.4 mg/kg SENS-401. Significantly more surviving outer hair cells were present after SENS-401 treatment compared with placebo (p < 0.001), with up to 11-fold more in the basal turn of the cochlea.Conclusion:In vivo and in vitro data support the otoprotective potential and tolerability of SENS-401 without impacting chemotherapeutic potential. Oral SENS-401 is a promising candidate for treating cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.

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