Hearing loss is a major health concern in our society, affecting over 360 million people worldwide (World Health Organization, 2017). Aminoglycoside chemotherapy causes permanent hearing loss in 20-25% of treated patients. To date, no drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for protection from aminoglycoside-related hearing loss. Most candidate compounds currently in pre-clinical trials are related to antioxidants, vitamins, and glutathione metabolism, and thus many of these compounds, such as sodium thiosulfate, can interfere with aminoglycoside bactericidal activity.
In 2010, Dr. Jian Zuo ( popularly known as JZ ) and Dr. Tal Teitz started working with a drug used in cancer treatment and adapting for use in the prevention and treatment of hearing loss due to chemotherapy or noise. This led to the discovery of other drugs that can be used for the same purpose. They then set up Ting Therapeutics, a biotechnology company in August 2018. Supported by a team of scientists and consultants, Ting Therapeutics is on its way to getting these drugs into clinical trials before being made available to patients.